Increase in dog attacks on sheep

A spree of dog attacks have been reported to the Irish Farmers Association from sheep flock owners in counties Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Offaly, Longford, and Galway.

Statistics collated by the farming organisation indicate that the problem of dog attacks on sheep may be in the order of 300 to 400 per annum, with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep injured and killed.

IFA sheep committee chairman John Lynskey said he is taking calls on a frequent basis from farmers around the country whose flocks have been attacked.

“There are far too many dog owners not taking the responsibility that goes with owning a pet,” he said. “Dog owners have an obligation to have their dog under control at all times.”

Mr Lynskey reminded dog owners they can be held responsible for losses involved in dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences. Dogs can inflict horrendous damage on sheep flocks.

Pregnant ewes on the point of lambing at this time of year are particularly vulnerable to dog attacks, he said, adding that data gathered by the IFA shows an average of over eleven sheep killed or injured per attack.

The IFA warning came as acting Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney reminded the public that new arrangements requiring all dogs to be both microchipped and registered on an authorised database are now compulsory.


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