Graphic: Stark reminder of dangers posed by dogs off leads

Footage has emerged on social media of the dangers posed to sheep by dogs let off their leads by hillwalkers.

It was shared by Mountaineering Ireland to underline the importance of walkers keeping their animals under control.

In a statement released on social media, warning first of the graphic nature of the video, the Mountaineering Ireland Facebook page noted: “This happened yesterday in the Mournes.

A family pet, off lead, chased a sheep til the sheep lay down with exhaustion. The family who owned the dog tried to call the dog back, but to no avail.

The page noted that a mountaineer, who was climbing at Lower Cove, ran down to where the dog was attacking the sheep.

The man quickly recorded a video before attempting to get the dog off the sheep.

“The dog was in full attack mode and did not stop until the owner arrived at the scene and put him on a lead,” the page warned.

“This attack is a stark reminder that family pets can become killers when their instincts kick in.”

Mountaineering Ireland issued advice noting that dogs in the countryside should be kept on a lead, and that people should only take dogs onto hill land where they have the landowner’s permission to do so.

We are sorry that it is necessary to post a message like this at the start of a holiday weekend, but it is with the aim of preventing further dog attacks on sheep.

Mountaineering Ireland concluded by thanking the mountaineer for his actions and for permission to share the video to highlight the dangers posed by dogs.