Farm groups have come out this lambing season to warn dog owners to remain vigilant and to help prevent sheep attacks.
With the news of the killer dog still on the loose in the South East its important now more than ever for farmers and dog owners to be aware of the dangers of sheep attacks.
As lambs come thick and fast around the country at the moment sheep are at their most vulnerable. There will be some 2.5 million ewes lambing down in the next few weeks and with late nights ahead for many thinking of the dangers of dogs is the last thing farmers want to worry about.
The IFA’s John Lynskey has issued a stark warning to all dog owners that they are fully responsible for keeping control of their dogs at all times.
“A number of dog attacks have been highlighted in recent weeks across the country, where major financial losses have been incurred. In the last week there was a very severe case in County Tipperary and a wild dog in County Wexford, which is still on the loose, has inflicted serious damage on a number of sheep flocks.”
Farmers can shoot dogs to protect their flocks if there is a danger of the dog worrying or indeed killing their flock.
The law clearly states that there are circumstances where it’s lawful to shoot a dog:
“There are specific instances where such a shooting would be held to be lawful. These are set out in Section 23 and must be proved by the Defendant –
- the dog was shot when it was worrying, or was about to worry livestock and that there were no other reasonable means of ending or preventing the worrying; or
- the dog was a stray dog which was in the vicinity of a place where livestock had been injured or killed, and
- the Defendant reasonably believed that the dog had been involved in the injury or killing, and there were no practicable means of seizing the dog or ascertaining to whom it belonged; and
- he was the person in charge of the livestock, and
- he notified within forty eight hours the member in charge at the local garda of the incident.
These provisions will be satisfied if the Defendant believed and had reasonable grounds for his belief that these provisions had been satisfied.”
That’s Farming have carried out many polls and articles on the shooting of dogs worrying or trespassing on farmers land.
The IFA have urged farmers and dog owners to remain vigilant.