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Tuesday 23 October 2018

Watch: TV ad from 1980s with killer dog to be revived in attempt to reduce attacks on sheep

TV Ad campaign from the 1980s highlights ongoing danger

The ad first aired on RTE in 1984
The ad first aired on RTE in 1984

Myles Buchanan

Wicklow Uplands Council has borrowed from the past in order to highlight the message of dog control.

There have been a number of serious sheep attacks involving dogs in recent months and the Uplands Council told the Wicklow People that they have decided to reintroduce the Department of Agriculture's 'Bonzo Wants to Go Out' ad campaign from the 1980s, which sought to build an awareness of dog owners' role in preventing sheep attacks.

The ad first aired on RTE in 1984 and proved to be a very effective way to inform television viewers that 'running free, he can be a killer.' Reposted now on social media, the animated video has been an instant hit.

Brian Dunne, Coordinator of the Wicklow Uplands Council, said: "Unfortunately, this ad is as relevant today as it was then, with an estimated 300 to 400 attacks occurring nationwide each year which results in up to 4,000 sheep killed or seriously injured.

"Sadly, County Wicklow has experienced several very serious sheep attacks over the last few months and it is our hope that this campaign will highlight the important role that dog owners have in tackling this issue."

Along with the video, dog owners living or visiting farmland regions are requested to consider the welfare of sheep by keeping their distance, respecting farm boundaries and keeping dogs under control at all times.

A number of guidelines have also been issued, including a reminder that both lambs and pregnant ewes are exceptionally vulnerable at this time of year.

The presence of dogs, even with playful intent, may cause great distress to heavily pregnant ewes, with shock often causing fatalities two to three days after the ewe being chased.

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Young lambs can also become separated from their mother during a chase resulting in some dying of hunger.

Other guidelines include, knowing where they are at all times, using a leash where appropriate, reporting wandering dogs and suspicious sights to your local authorities and making sure dogs are registered and microchipped.


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