Warning to dog owners
Dog owners have been warned that they can face substantial claims for compensation if their pets kill or injure sheep.
The warning from Louth IFA Rural Development Chairman Matthew McGrehan came after a German shepherd dog attacked a flock of sheep belonging to north Louth farmer Liam Kearney on December 19th. Four of the sheep were killed and a number of other sheep were injured after the dog savaged them by biting their necks.
'The flock has been totally devastated from the attack,' said Matthew, pointing out that the ewes were in lamb and are now at risk of miscarrying the lambs due to the trauma of being worried by the dog.
Sheep belonging to another local farmer, Peadar Hynes, were also killed.
The owner of the dog surrendered it to Louth County Council's dog warden service.
'Farmers in this area of Benagh and Riverstown area have had a lot of dog attacks on their flocks in the last 12 months and farmers are glad that this dog has been taken by the warden,' said Matthew.
'We would appeal to dog owners in this area and in Co Louth not to underestimate the harm that their dog can do to a flock of sheep in a short space of time,' he said.
He pointed out that 'dog owners are liable to compensate farmers for any harm which their dogs have inflicted on the sheep which can have huge effect on the livelihoods of sheep farmers and compensation can be a substantial amount when a flock is attacked.'
Matthew also warned that 'Dog owners should be aware that farmers are within their rights to shoot a dog which is attacking their sheep or is coming from an attack or if they believe the dog is about to attack.'