Dogs attack 740 sheep in year, IFA
Some 740 sheep were killed or injured by dog attacks since last year’s lambing season, new Irish Farmers’ Association figures have found.
The farm organisation set up a hotline last year to encourage farmers to report dog attacks. Laois topped the league for reported dog attacks, with 155 sheep killed or injured. It was followed by Roscommon, with 140 sheep, Donegal with 76 sheep and Wexford with 74.
Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said it was unacceptable that dogs should be allowed to attack sheep in this fashion.
“Dog wardens and gardaí are doing what they can, but they cannot be in every part of the country at all times. The solution rests fairly and squarely with dog owners,” he said.
IFA sheep chairman James Murphy said the frequency of attacks on sheep was very disturbing and illustrated the dreadful consequences of the failure to keep dogs under control.
“Up to 2.5m lambs will be born on 30,000 sheep farms across the country over the next three months. Sheep flocks are very vulnerable to dog attacks at this critical time, and especially during the night.”
He said sheep never recovered fully from a dog attack and could suffer ongoing difficulties, including reproduction problems and increased nervousness.
Mr Murphy also reminded dog owners that under the law farmers were entitled to take whatever steps are necessary to protect their sheep flocks against marauding dogs on their lands.