Dogs chew the ears off two cows in farm attack
A vet has appealed to all pet owners to keep their animals under control after a savage attack at a dairy farm in which two dogs chewed the ears of cows down to bloodied stumps.
John Collins, from the busy Mallow Vets practice in Co Cork, said he was forced to issue the appeal after he was called out to the farm to help care for the two cows.
With dog attacks more commonly reported among flocks of sheep, Mr Collins said this was the first time he had ever encountered an attack on cows.
"There were lacerations and the cartilage of the ears was gone.
"It was literally torn out of them," he said.
The distressing footage which Mr Collins uploaded online has received many comments from people distraught at the blood seeping from the ears of the cows.
"Owners need to keep their dogs under control as their lovely pets can turn when the pack instinct kicks in," he said.
Mr Collins said the farmer phoned him to come out after the dog attack at the dairy farm in the Mourneabbey area on Monday evening.
"One ear was off one of the cows and both were gone off the other," he explained.
"I had a mammoth task to patch them up and they're both in calf to expensive bulls but so far they haven't aborted," he said.
"I've the cows on painkillers and antibiotics and I had to go back and trim off the dead and dying tissue. It was a big job."
Mr Collins said they were in a shed with the rest of the herd and had their heads out through the bars eating silage.
However, he says it appears they panicked when the dogs attacked and didn't manage to pull their heads back in through the bars.
"The owner claims he heard barking and he lives around 50 yards from the farm but by the time he got down the dogs were gone," he said, adding the noise of the engine probably drove them off.
He said they were confident it was a dog attack, rather than foxes, as the owner had clearly heard dogs barking in his shed shortly before he discovered the attack.
Read More: (warning: contains graphic footage) 'Their ears were literally torn out of them' - Vet appeals to pet owners after savage dog attack on cows
Dogs are believed to kill or injure an estimated 4,000 sheep a year in Ireland, according to figures compiled by the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA).
However, some believe this figure is underestimating the problem as it only includes reported incidents to the IFA database.
Farmers hope the planned introduction of microchipping of dogs, which comes into effect in March, will identify the pets involved in such attacks and will raise awareness among pet owners about their social responsibilities.