Concern at dog attacks on sheep during lambing season

Sheep farmers in Wicklow are appealing to dogs owners after recent attacks that have been reported in Ballycoogue, Roundwood and Tinahely.

With the lambing season underway sheep farmers are asking dog owners to be responsible and be aware where your dog is at all times.

13 ewes were killed by dogs on farmland in Roundwood last week-end, last week in Tinahely a farmer had 4 sheep attacked which required stitches.

The sheep farmers said under the Control of Dogs Act, it states: “If a dog worries livestock, the owner or any other person in charge of the dog shall be guilty of an offence unless it is established that at the material time the dog worried the livestock for the purpose of removing trespassing livestock and that having regard to all the circumstances the action was reasonable and necessary.” It was also pointed out that under the law farmers are entitled to take whatever steps are necessary to protect their sheep flocks against marauding dogs on their lands.

Up to 2.5m lambs will be born on 30,000 sheep farms across the country this spring.

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