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Unauthorised grazing and keeping of Livestock on Borough of Poole owned or controlled property

The grazing / keeping of livestock, including horses and ponies, on Council owned land (including all areas of open space, parks, heathland and verges) is strictly prohibited. Such unauthorised occupancy often takes the form of tethering animals by rope, or chain and  is sometimes referred to as fly-grazing. Experience is that these horses and ponies are well cared for, being regularly fed and watered. 

The Borough of Poole takes this matter very seriously and we therefore, employ the services of a specialist bailiff company to manage it on our behalf. The bailiff will where necessary, carry out planned and targeted action against owners. Notices are placed at problem areas warning owners not to leave their animals on Council controlled property. In most cases the owners remove the animals on the issue of notices placed by the bailiffs.

Animals found illegally on Council property can be impounded at any time by the bailiff. The Council does not have its own facilities to remove or keep livestock so the bailiff will arrange livery facilities to ensure health care of the livestock whilst detained. The release of impounded animals can only be arranged after damages and fees, including contractor's costs and vets fees, that the council has incurred are repaid in full.  Legal responsibility of impounded livestock must be demonstrated by claimants completing in full the Bailiffs Claim Forms. The Time period for claiming impounded animals will be stipulated in any impound notice. Animals that are not claimed will be sold and income received used to cover the costs incurred.

Unauthorised grazing should not be confused with the permitted grazing of cattle and ponies on heathland as part of our land management. The Borough of Poole will not enter into agreement with individual livestock owners. 

Unfortunately, due to the behaviour of a minority of owners we are unable to enter into discussions about the enforcement process, individual cases, or the managing bailiff.

To report unauthorised grazing, please report here and the information will be passed to the bailiff.  

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