The ISPCA said dog owners should ensure their dogs are secured at night. Pets should not be allowed to roam the countryside, where they can inflict horrific injuries and suffering on lambs and ewes.
“We do not want to see any lambs or ewes distressed, injured or killed by dogs this spring,” said ISPCA chief executive Dr Andrew Kelly. “Nor do we want to see any dogs destroyed as a result. Losses to sheep farmers can be significant and distressing. We’d like to remind all dog owners to keep their dogs under control around sheep and other livestock, particularly at this time of year when lambs are being born and are very vulnerable.”
The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government reminds dog owners that under the Control of Dogs Act they can be held liable for financial damage caused to farmers and costs can run to several thousand euro.
“Owners of dogs must be vigilant at all times, but especially now as we are in the lambing season,” said Environment Minister Phil Hogan. “Whether you live in or near the countryside, or visit it for recreational purposes, I ask that you are on guard the whole time.”
The minister reminded dog owners to be careful if they leave their dog out in the back garden for a “quick run and to do their business” — this can result in even docile dogs partaking in sheep attacks.