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Dog owners warned to keep pets on a leash after 'savage' sheep attacks

The IFA has released a protocol for farmers to follow, which includes guidelines for when a farmer can shoot a dog.

Image: Alessandro Di Ciommo

DOG OWNERS HAVE been asked to keep their dogs on a leash after a number of attacks on sheep.

The Louth Irish Farmers’ Association say that a number of dog attacks have occurred on the Cooley Peninsula recently. They have issued a warning to all dog owners of their responsibility to keep their pets under control at all times.

Chairman of the Louth branch of the IFA Gerard Melia said:

“Owners can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences. Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock.”

IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said dogs can inflict “horrendous” damage on a sheep flock. Statistics collated by IFA say there may be from 300 to 400 attacks each year, with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep injured and killed. Data on dog attacks gathered by the IFA shows an average of 11 sheep killed or injured per attack.

“Unfortunately, I am taking calls on a frequent basis from sheep farmers around the country who have suffered attacks. There are far too many dog owners not taking the responsibility that goes with owning a pet. Dog owners have an obligation to have their dog under control at all times.”

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The IFA has released a protocol for farmers to follow, which includes guidelines for when a farmer can shoot a dog.

Read: Seven dogs had to be put down after being found in ‘deplorable’ conditions

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