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Agriculture minister relaunches 'Bonzo the dog' ad from 1984 to warn against sheep worrying

The ad was originally broadcast in 1984.

AGRICULTURE MINISTER CHARLIE McConalogue today relaunched a 1980s ad which warned people to be careful to keep their dogs away from sheep, especially during lambing season. 

McConalogue said that sheep worrying brings immense and unnecessary stress upon farmers. 

He added that the message from the 1980s cartoon ad is the same today. 

He said: “Many of us will remember the 1984 advertisement featuring “Bonzo” the dog, the theme of which remains as relevant today as back in the 1980s.

“Each year, dogs that are allowed to run free are a menace to sheep. Uncontrolled pets can decimate a flock, with reports suggesting that up to 4,000 sheep are killed or seriously injured in dog attacks yearly. Pet owners are responsible for ensuring that their dogs are under control at all times.”

McConalogue said sheep worrying can occur at any time of the year but it is hugely problematic when it happens during the lambing season.

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Up to 2.5 million lambs are born across the country every spring. Sheep flocks are very vulnerable to dog attacks at this critical time, and especially during the night, he added.

The minister urged those living in or near rural areas to be extra vigilant.

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