Louth Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan is reminding dog owners of their responsibilities and the vulnerability of sheep to dog attacks, as lambing season approaches.
Senator McGreehan said:“I have raised the importance of dog owners looking after their dogs, so that they do not become the killers that they have the potential to be in the Seanad.
“I ask that when out walking in particular commonage areas that owners would keep their dogs on a lease.
"It is not the dog's fault that they run after sheep and lambs.
"They want to play, but it ends up frightening them and the dog doesn’t know when to stop. They cannot control themselves.
"I have spoken with a farmer who had three pregnant sheep mauled to death and after scans they believe that up to 15 lambs could be born dead.
"These are innocent animals and do not deserve to be killed liked this, the dogs deserve to be cared for better and not to become killers.”
The Senator said the issue is one of grave concern to the farming community and that attacks on sheep are happening far too often in the rural countryside.
Senator McGreehan has also called for a concerted effort by authorities to work on a cross border basis; the border puts up barriers to both sides in finding the culprit.
The latest figures compiled by local authorities show that there were 240 incidents of ‘Livestock Worrying’ in 2020 – with a similar number expected when the 2021 returns are completed.
Dog attacks cause serious injury or even death to sheep and can cause grave distress and financial loss for farm families.
Ministers McConalogue and Humphreys have also announced the start of an awareness campaign that will run over lambing season.
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