There are laws when protecting your livestock from other animals

Laws to follow when protecting your livestock.
Laws to follow when protecting your livestock.(Juliana Alford)
Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 9:33 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Spring is in the air which means we are coming up on breeding season for many animals and livestock.

This can often lead to ranchers protecting their livestock from other animals.

Often ranchers are faced with dogs who are harassing their livestock which can end up with the dog getting shot, but there are steps that can be taken before making this decision.

“The best thing to do is to call the local sheriff and file a complaint for the dog at large. Normally a deputy will respond to that location and take a statement and try to deal with the situation, so that’s the best way to deal with it,” said Pat West, Sheriff, of Meade County.

According to South Dakota law, unless the animal is “worrying, injuring, or killing poultry or domestic animals,” it is not legal to kill the animal.

“So, it’s important for people to realize that you know when dealing with these animals that are running at large, it is someone’s pet, and it means a great deal to them personally. People just need to use good judgment on whether or not they need to step to that level in shooting a dog when you wouldn’t necessarily have to,” said West.

If an animal is bothering your livestock, it is best to get law enforcement involved first.