Farmer's shock as 36 sheep savaged by dogs
A farmer has been left in "utter shock" after 36 of his sheep were killed in a dog attack.
It appears that the lambs and ewe belonging to a farmer in Annascaul, Co Kerry were pursued by a pack of dogs and attacked. However, a large number died by suffocation after they panicked and piled on top of each other.
Pat Rohan, chair of the ICMSA's Farm and Rural Affairs Committee, has spoken of the scenes of devastation which his neighbour found. There were just a few sheep left at the base of the field and they were dirty and wounded. Then he discovered most of his flock.
"Thirty-six of his sheep had pushed through the reinforced wire and were in a heap on top of each other," said Mr Rohan.
Based on paw marks in the soil and the injuries to the animals, it is believed that a pack of dogs attacked the sheep, who then tried to flee the field.
"The vet was called straight away and confirmed that the tear damage looks like the result of dog bites," said Mr Rohan.
However, most of the animals were found to have suffocated after they piled on top of each other against a 15ft gate.
Mr Rohan said: "There was a U-shape left in the gate from the sheep who had lunged at it in blind panic."
Three other farmers in the same locality reported similar incidents but on a smaller scale.
"This particular farmer has lost 26 lambs practically ready for sale and several ewes. A conservative figure would place the financial loss for him at around €2,700," added Mr Rohan.