Dog pack attack snuffed out in Kilkenny

Early this morning a farmer in Kilkenny ensured that a pack of dogs had worried their last sheep.

Sheep farmer Brian Nicholson was tending to lambing ewes at about 5:30am this morning (Monday, February 25) when commotion from a nearby field drew his attention to see three large animals chasing his hoggets.

Speaking to AgriLand, Brian explained: “I was in before they had any real damage done; it was worrying that they were at that stage.

“I was lucky in that the field was beside the yard where I was checking the ewes that were lambing down. If it had been a field further away I mightn’t have copped it until this morning when I went out to check and it could have been a lot worse.

I was very lucky – the lambing shed is right beside the field – that they didn’t go into the yard where the ewes are lambing, because they looked like the sort of dogs that wouldn’t care where they went.

Fortunately, there was no serious harm done to the worried sheep.

“There were a couple of ewes worried, a bit of wool taken off some of them, there’s no major damage done – but I’d say if it had gone on any longer it could have been a different story altogether.”

Brian explained that the dogs had no collars or microchips, meaning that it will be very difficult to trace owners for the animals.

“All I can do is keep an eye out in the locality for somebody looking for missing dogs and that, but at the moment I have no idea where they came from, only that they’re not going to cause any trouble now.”

Commenting on the size and nature of the animals, he said: “You wouldn’t be brave enough to get too close to them, they were fairly vicious – especially when there’s three of them there and you’re on your own.

I walked up and, when they turned to face me, I said there’s only one solution here.

They didn’t even leave the sheep alone in that five minutes I went back in for the gun.

Disconnect

“It’s a pity that lads don’t respect their dogs and other people’s livelihoods,” Brian said.

Commenting on what is a widespread issue at this time of the year, the sheep farmer added:

“I think one of the biggest things that’s causing it is there’s beginning to be more of a disconnect between the rural and urban communities, and people don’t realise what damage a dog can cause if they’re not looked after properly.

It’s in the dog’s nature to go and hunt – and it’s our responsibility to look after the dogs. It’s the dog owner’s fault; not the dog and the last thing I want to do is put down a dog.

“You shouldn’t have to do it; nobody should be allowed to have a dog if they can’t look after them,” Brian said.