Farmers hunt 'killer' dog that has left over 40 sheep dead
This is the killer dog that has evaded gun-parties in the southeast for the last three weeks.
The large hunting hound - believed to be a Belgian Shepherd - is being blamed for savaging over 40 sheep in weekly attacks, despite being wounded by farmers attempting to defend their flocks.
"We went out with the gun after the first attack and got a shot at him," explained Patrick Lacey whose flock has been attacked several times by the vicious hound.
"He went down in a field of fodder-beet but by the time we'd made it over to finish him off he was gone," said Mr Lacey, who runs a sheep, beef and tillage operation in partnership with his brothers Lorcan and Kieran and father Laurance just outside New Ross in Wexford.
The first attack happened in the second week of January when 12 of Lacey's 350 store hoggets were killed, with 15 more killed during another attack a week later. The latest attack happened at the weekend with another 20 sheep found dead.
The brothers estimate that they have lost at least 40 sheep so far, worth €4,000, but with many more "half-dead" from the terror of the episode.
Local horse-breeders are equally worried that their valuable stock might be next to be attacked.
A party of up to eight locals armed with shotguns have failed to catch the dog during weekly searches of the locality.