Gardaí: Over 3,000 sheep killed in dog attacks per annum

Members of An Garda Síochána have issued an appeal to all dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept under control and away from sheep.

This follows Gardaí receiving reports of livestock being attacked by dogs in recent weeks and months – in what has been an ongoing issue for sheep farmers around the country.

Outlining general advice to dog owners, An Garda Síochána warned:

“If you are taking exercise you must comply with Covid regulations and dogs must be kept under effective control – consider using a long lead.

Lambing season occurs during January/February and results in around 400 incidents per annum with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep being killed.

The Gardaí highlighted that these incidents include walkers, runners and cyclists being bitten by dogs that are allowed to roam free.

“These incidents cause financial loss to the farming community as well as distress to those involved,” Gardaí warned.

In advice to the public in general, An Garda Síochána warned:

“Local authorities are responsible and may under the control of dogs act appoint wardens to provide shelters, seize dogs, impose fines and take court proceedings.

“Dog owners must have a licence and keep the dog under effective control outside the house or premises.

Owners are liable for injury or damage caused by their dog to people or livestock. Since 2015 it is compulsory to have a dog microchipped. They also should wear a collar with the owner’s name and address.

“Stray dogs are dogs that are in public and unaccompanied by the owner. If your dog has strayed or is missing, contact your local dog pound directly to check if it is there.

“If you have an unwanted dog contact the local Irish society for the prevention of cruelty to animals’ branch, dog pounds/charities and your local authority,” the Garda advice concluded.