A total of 15 lambs were killed in a dog attack in the west of the country over the weekend, prompting calls for more dog wardens.

The incident, which took place in Aughagower, Co. Mayo, has led to calls for a clampdown on unlicensed and unchipped dogs in the county by Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) western chairman Padraic Joyce.

Speaking to AgriLand, Joyce said: “It’s a lot of damage to take – and they were owned by a young lad who has only started farming as well which makes it even worse.

It’s a kick to the teeth for the young farmer – and he had them ready for the factory.

Noting that such incidents have taken place in the region before, the chairman said that there are suspicions about dogs owned by neighbours in the area.

“What we would be calling for is that there would be a second dog warden put into Mayo – because the county is so big, there is no fear among dog owners that the dog warden is going to call around to them to see if their dog is chipped or licensed.

“Farmers would like to see more visibility of the dog warden that’s working there at the present time.

Usually the cases happen in spring time but this appears to be a once-off. It’s a young farmer starting in sheep; he had those lambs ready for the factory – and now he hasn’t lambs for the factory. It’s a big loss.

Stressing the need for more resources in Mayo, Joyce said that it is such a big county and “it is next to impossible for the dog warden to get around the whole county to check on dogs for licences and chipping”.

“I would call on Mayo County Council to adhere to this,” the chairman concluded.