Countryside access

Animals on public rights of way


It is an offence, except for certain important exceptions, for the occupier of a field crossed by a right of way to allow a bull to be in it.

The exceptions are:

  • bulls not more than 10 months old, and
  • bulls which are not of a recognised dairy breed and which are at large with cows or heifers. A recognised dairy breed means one of the following breeds: Ayrshire, British Friesian, British Holstein, Dairy Shorthorn, Guernsey, Jersey and Kerry


If a dog prevents someone from using a right of way, for example by standing in the middle of a path and snarling or baring its teeth to oncomers, or where it frightens users, for example by running round them barking in a threatening manner, it is a public nuisance because it has blocked the free use of the way.

Animals in general

The keeper/owner of an animal is liable for damages if the animal injures another person, provided they were aware of the animal's tendency to cause injury.