Forty sheep killed in dog attack in Co Kerry

Dog owners in the area told to keep an eye on their pets following overnight assault

 Some of the 40 sheep who were killed during a dog attack in Co Kerry last Friday. Photograph: ICMSA

Some of the 40 sheep who were killed during a dog attack in Co Kerry last Friday. Photograph: ICMSA

 

Dog owners in rural areas have been asked to keep an eye on their pets after 40 sheep were killed during a dog attack in Co Kerry last Friday.

It is believed that a pack of domestic dogs savaged a number of sheep belonging to several flocks in Annascaul after they gained access to a field during the night.

A local vet confirmed that some of the sheep received skin tears and punctures consistent with a dog attack.

However, it is thought that the majority of the sheep died from suffocation after being crushed by other sheep rushing to a gate in a corner of the field.

One farmer owned 36 of the dead sheep. The other four belonged to other owners.

Patrick Rohan, of the Irish Creamery Milk Suppliers Association (ICMSA), is a neighbour of the man who lost 36 sheep.

He said the attack represented the destruction of €2,700 worth of livestock.

“The farmer went out on Friday morning to look at his sheep, there was 4ft [of] sheep wire and it was levelled to the ground with the stakes broken.

“The [sheep] were gone out of the field, [they were] in another field down further and they were piled up in the corner against the gate,” said Mr Rohan.

“If they were wild dogs, they’d have been seen before now. [The dogs] just came in the dead of night and they were gone again,” he said.

Insurance policy

The farmer later discovered that attacks by dogs are not covered on his insurance policy.

Mr Rohan encouraged sheep farmers to check the fine print of their insurance policies to make sure they are indemnified in this regard.

The attack is the only known large-scale sheep cull in the area caused by roaming dogs in recent times, according to Mr Rohan, but he said that such attacks are becoming more common across the country.

The ICMSA has asked people who bring pets to holiday homes close to agricultural areas to keep their dogs tied up at night.