Horse dies following Port Meadow dog attack

Published: Thursday, 2nd May 2019

Oxford City Council is reminding dog owners to keep their animals under control following a serious attack that resulted in the death of a horse in Port Meadow

Julian Cooper, Oxford City Council Port Meadow Ranger, said: "This recent attack highlights the need to keep dogs on a lead in Port Meadow. The area is a haven, not only for grazing horses but also other livestock and wildlife. I want to express my sympathy to the owner of this horse and stress to dog owners the importance of controlling their animals to prevent tragedies like this happening." 

The City Council has erected signs to remind dog owners of their responsibility to keep their animals under control. 

Mr Cooper added: "We welcome responsible dog walkers on all of our sites but we ask them to adhere to any seasonal restrictions and signage. We know the majority of owners are responsible and will keep their animals on a lead when in the Meadow. Unfortunately some dog owners continue to ignore this rule. We need to emphasise to anyone who is tempted to let their animals run free that this is not the place to do it. The consequences for the animals that live in the Meadow can be horrendous."

The law requires owners to keep dogs under control at all times. City Council enforcement officers carry out regular patrols and can issue £80 fines to anyone fails to comply. The City Council recently took one irresponsible owner to court, and in addition to an increased fine, the magistrate ordered them to pay court costs, totalling £1,700.

The period from 1 March to 31 July is a particularly sensitive time as there are endangered ground-nesting birds in the area. 

Anyone witnessing irresponsible dog owners can report them by emailing or phone 01865 252240.