According to the National Sheep Chairman of the IFA, Sean Dennehy, there are between 300-400 incidences of dog attacking flocks of sheep attacks every year.
Statistics collected by the IFA on dog attacks also found that between 3000-4000 sheep are injured and killed every year as a result of attacks. Data collected by the IFA also showed that an average of 11 sheep are killed or injured during every attack, leading to National Sheep Chairman, Sean Dennehy, issuing a stark warning to dog owners.
“Dog owners can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks on sheep, with serious financial and legal consequences.” Mr. Dennehy warned.
“Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock.”
Mr Dennehy noted that incidents of sheep worrying seem to increase around this time of year, coinciding with lambing. He noted that there have been reports of 42 sheep killed in Louth county alone in the past two months.
“In recent weeks we have reports of attacks from all over the country. In county Louth alone, we have reports of 42 sheep killed in the last 2 months.” Sean Dennehy said.
The IFA National Sheep chair then issued a further warning to dog owners of their responsibilities.
“Unfortunately, I am taking calls on a frequent basis from sheep farmers around the country who have suffered attacks.” He noted.
“There are far too many dog owners not taking the responsibility that goes with owning a pet. Dog owners have an obligation to have their dog under control at all times”.
Sean Dennehy also reminded dog owners that by law every dog must be microchipped, before calling on Minister Creed to re-run an advertising campaign from the 1980’s where the key message was “Keep your dog under control. Running free he can be a killer.”