Eight dogs were shot dead in Co. Clare after attacks on sheep this week the Clare Champion has reported.

The dogs, all hunting breeds, were on a private hunt in the Broadford area when they broke away and were involved in a sheep attack which resulted in two sheep being killed and several more injured, the paper states.

Clare Dog Warden Frankie Coote, speaking to Peter O’Connell of the Clare paper, said “more than likely a deer brought them through the land” then they came across the sheep.

“Even supervised, if they come on a deer, it can bring them anywhere. That’s what we believe happened. There are a lot of deer in O’Callaghan’s Mills and Broadford,” Coote said.

Coote also said that it “is unusual for hunting dogs to do this but all dogs will do it.”

Two farms were involved in the sheep attack he said.

“One farmer was alerted and he went to his farm. Four of them were shot attacking the sheep. Then they went up to check the neighbours farm and there was four more up there, attacking other sheep.

“There could be consequences for weeks because all of those sheep were ready to lamb” Coote said.

It is understood that one person owns all eight of the dogs.

“The reason there wasn’t more damage was the simple fact that the farmers were alerted and came on them. Otherwise the dogs would have slaughtered what was there.

“There is no winners in this,” Coote stated to the Clare paper.

Farmers have a right to protect their sheep, the law states so here.