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Annoying creatures 

Annoying creatures might be dogs barking, or cockerels crowing, for prolonged periods of time, or at unsociable hours.

Section 49, Sub Section (2), of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, deals with complaints about annoying creatures. A person who has reasonable cause for annoyance can make an application to the local Justice of the Peace Court, for an Order to be made. This requires the owner of the creature to take action to prevent the annoyance from continuing.

Making a complaint about annoying creatures

Where a complaint is made to Environmental Health about creatures which give reasonable cause for alarm, or annoyance, advice is given about making an application to the Court. This application is made by the person, or persons, who are being subjected to the annoyance. 

If you decide to go ahead with an application, you may wish to apply through your solicitor, but this is not a requirement of the Court. Forms incorrectly completed will be returned to you without guidance from the Justice of the Peace Court. They must remain impartial. You may ask an Environmental Health Officer to check the form has been completed correctly before sending it. 

Download application form

Application under Section 49 of Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982

Completed forms should be sent to:

Scottish Courts Service
Irvine Justice of the Peace Court
The Sheriff Court
St. Marnock Street
Kilmarnock KA1 1ED

What happens next?

Subject to the Court considering that there appeared to be reasonable cause for annoyance, a date would be set for a Hearing. Both the complainant and the owner of the creature would be required to attend the Hearing to state their cases.

If the Court agrees that the complaint is justified, they will issue an Order stating what action the owner of the animal must take. The complainant will be advised of the terms of the Order.


If the terms of the Order are not complied with, future complaints about this failure should be made to the Police. If the Police can confirm that the conditions in the Order are not being complied with, they can make a report to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to the Court taking action against the owner of the creature for failure to comply with the Order.