Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Three flocks of sheep savaged by roaming dogs in 48 hour period

31 ewes and 24 lambs killed in three attacks in 48 hours

Gus and Olive Martyn with some of the lambs and ewes killed in a weekend attack by marauding dogs at their Dunderry farm. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Gus and Olive Martyn with some of the lambs and ewes killed in a weekend attack by marauding dogs at their Dunderry farm. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Olive and Gus Martyn with some of the lambs and ewes killed when dogs attacked their flock in Dunderry, Co Meath. Photo: Seamus Farrelly
Gus Martyn disposes of the slaughtered ewes and lambs. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Martin Ryan

A Government levy on all dog food to fund the control of marauding dogs is being demanded by the IFA.

The call comes in the aftermath of attacks by roaming dogs on three sheep farms in Co Meath over a period of 48 hours at the weekend.

Nineteen lambs and three ewes were killed on a farm at Dunderry on Saturday morning. Several more from the flock of 65 ewes are not expected to survive.

The previous evening two dogs were chased from a neigbouring holding by the farmer after they had killed three ewes and five lambs.

Twenty-four hours earlier a farm at Nobber suffered a similar fatal attack, with 25 ewes killed or more than a quarter of the entire flock.

The Dunderry attack occurred on the property of Gus Martyn, who farms 100 acres at Dunderry. "At 6.15am on Saturday morning I was awoken by barking dogs savaging my flock of 65 ewes. With the help of a neighbour we managed to shoot one of the dogs and the other got away - two Alsation cross Labradors," Mr Martyn said.

Although19 lambs and three ewes were killed in the attack Mr Martyn said he expected further losses.

"We are treating 13 more lambs, but some will not survive. The ewes are not eating and the lambs can't suck because their necks are all torn with wounds. The wounds were so bad that we had to bathe them and one of them died in the arms of my daughter, Kate, when she tried to revive him," he said.

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Terrible

"It was a terrible scene - I wouldn't wish it on anyone. The whole family - my wife Olive, Kate, Jane, Luke and Joey - were all involved trying to treat them. I fear that I will be wiped out - the flock won't survive it," he said.

IFA national sheep chairman John Lynskey said that statistics collated by IFA indicated that the problem of dog attacks on sheep may be in the order of 300 to 400 attacks per annum, with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep injured and killed.

Yesterday, Meath IFA sheep chairman, Eamon Meade described the problem of marauding dogs attacking sheep as "wrecking" the sheep industry.

"In the IFA we are trying to get the law changed so that there can be more control of dogs. All we want is a bit of fair play - them dead sheep are no good and it is a huge loss to any farmer. It can take years to get back into production after an attack by dogs. We should have a levy on all pet food to fund control by wardens," he said.

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