A farmer has been left ’disheartened’ after eleven sheep were killed in two separate ’vicious’ dog attacks in Ireland.
Four sheep were killed in Cooley and seven sheep were killed on a farm near Riverstown.
Louth farmer Gerry Rice found seven of his in-lamb ewes dead after they were attacked by dogs. Two are still missing.
He told the Irish Farmers Journal: “I found them on Sunday morning. It happened either Friday or Saturday. I lost seven ewes and two more are missing. They were all pregnant.
“I think it was two dogs that were involved, they were ripped asunder, one was decapitated.
“There was another 30 pregnant ewes in the field. I’ll be scanning them in late January and I know that there will be more fatalities by then, abortions as a result of stress.
“I just dread the scanning. It’s a loss to my livelihood.”
“It’s very disheartening. Dog owners can’t believe their dogs would do this sort of damage. It’s a disgrace.”
Irish Farmer’s Association’s Matthew McGreehan said: "Farmers are well within their rights to shoot a dog if they are of the opinion the dog is about to worry or has been worrying sheep”.
"Owners are also liable to pay compensation to farmers for their loss."
"It’s fairly possible it was a big dog that was involved in the attack as the heads were taken off them and the sheep were frightened."
"Some sheep are still missing and the rest of the flock is in lamb. It’s too early to calculate the total cost."
These attacks come just four months after a Farmers Guardian ’Take the Lead’ sign was ripped down by an angry dog walker.
Editor Ben Briggs received an anonymous letter with the torn-down sign which was described as ’objectionable and rude’.
He described sheep worrying as a ’small problem’.