Farmers' plea to dog owners - 'The last thing farmers need is for their sheep to be killed by someone's "friendly" pet'
Sheep farmers are facing an increasingly difficult lambing season with a notable increase in dog attacks in many parts of the country compared to previous years.
The Wicklow People reports that three sheep were killed on a farm in Rathdrum recently, with a further eight animals injured.
Meanwhile, an Alsatian spotted chasing sheep in Roundwood on Monday was captured. The dog's owner has since been identified and the gardaí are investigating the matter.
Chris Hill, Chairman of the Wicklow branch of the IFA, said farmers are being put under increasing pressure by loose dogs which are attacking sheep stock, with farmers already having to cope with one of the poorest springs on record.
"This is an ongoing story but unfortunately some dog owners remain careless and negligent with their pets. There is a huge onus and responsibility on pet owners and they should know where their animals are at all times," said Mr Hill.
"This has been one of the worst springs ever encountered, weather-wise. The last thing farmers need is for their sheep to be killed by someone's "friendly" pet," he said.
Three sheep were found dead in the Rathdrum area on the morning of Monday, March 26, having been attacked overnight. Another eight sheep were found with severe wounds.
"Lambing season is such an important time of the year for farmers. If they lose their lambs then they have nothing to sell. If they lose some ewes, then they are suffering a double loss," said Mr Hill.