An Offaly farmer has woken up to find a number of his sheep dead on his land at Clonsast Upper, near Bracknagh, Co. Offaly this morning, Wednesday, March 8. Derek Whittle discovered three of his animals had been killed in an overnight dog attack.
A further three sheep were injured in the incident while another remains missing. Owners have been warned to keep their dogs under control as lambing season commences in Spring, and the IFA has also said that close to 4,000 sheep are injured or killed every year as a result of dog attacks around the country.
With the country’s 30,000 sheep farmers preparing to lamb down 2.5 million ewes over the coming three months, IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey issued a stark warning last month to all dog owners that they are fully responsible for ensuring their pets are under control at all times in order to reduce the number of sheep attacked on Irish farms.
He said this is a very busy and anxious time for sheep farmers. There is clear evidence that sheep flocks are more vulnerable to dog attacks at this time of year. "They are liable for any losses as a result of dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences," he stated. "Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock," Lynskey added.
IFA has a protocol to help farmers who encounter a dog attack on their sheep flock. It is an easy-to-follow, 10-point Plan of Action covering what a farmer should do following a dog attack or sheep kill.
"Based on the feedback IFA gets from farmers who have had to deal with a dog attack on their flock, one of the biggest problems is the lack of information on what they should do, who they should contact and where can they get help," John Lynskey stated.
The protocol can be downloaded or viewed on the IFA website at www.ifa.ie.
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