IFA threatens 'zero tolerance' for stray dogs after latest sheep kills
FARM leaders have called on dog owners to control their animals after a horrific attack which left almost 60 sheep dead.
Farmer Tom Winston lost animals worth over €20,000 in a single attack after a pack of five dogs savaged his flock at a field outside Castlerea in Co Roscommon recently.
And in a separate incident the IFA's livestock chairman Henry Burns lost 14 ewes after two Alsatians attacked stock on his Co Laois farm.
The attacks bring to almost 100 the number of reports of sheep kills made since last March, when the IFA began recording attacks.
IFA national sheep chairman James Murphy said the Roscommon attack was one of the biggest he had heard of.
"The Roscommon case is absolutely horrific. Even the Laois kill of 14 is very big, normally it's three or four," he said.
"These dog attacks on sheep have been the bane of my life. This is a black day. We started compiling reports last March where we encouraged sheep farmers to ring in the details of the attack.
"The main reason we did it was to have some ammunition when we met with the Department of the Environment to talk about the problem.