Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Gillian Coughlan has joined the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD, in reminding all dog owners of their responsibilities and the vulnerability of sheep to dog attacks, as lambing season gets underway.
All dog owners to be particularly vigilant at this time of year and care should be taken to ensure dogs are always under control.
Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Gillian Coughlan advises, “For people walking dogs the safest and most appropriate thing to do is always to keep your dog or dogs on a lead especially when walking in rural areas where there is a potential for livestock worrying. Your dogs must always be under control ”
Dog control is an issue of grave concern to the farming community and attacks on sheep are happening far too often in the rural countryside. Dog attacks cause serious injury or even death to sheep and can cause grave distress and financial loss for farm families.
Minister Humphrey’s went on to say, “Some 2.5 million lambs will be born on farms all over Ireland this springtime. Sheep flocks are very vulnerable to dog attacks at this critical time, especially during the night. It’s horrific for any farmer to witness the awful devastation, pain and anguish that dogs can cause to sheep. So, I’m appealing to dog owners today, particularly in rural areas, to please always keep your dogs under control and be vigilant.
Minister McConalogue added, “Sheep worrying causes immense and unnecessary stress for farmers, and serious animal welfare issues for sheep and newborn lambs. Uncontrolled pets can decimate a flock within minutes, with reports suggesting that up to 4,000 sheep are killed or seriously injured in dog attacks every year. By law, every dog must be microchipped, and the possession, movement, sale or supply of an unchipped dog is an offence. I am committed to working with Minister Humphreys to ensure sheep-worrying by dogs becomes a thing of the past, and our officials are working together to improve enforcement of the laws applicable to dogs.”
Should a case of livestock worrying occur or be witnessed then the matter should be brought to the attention of the dog warden service of Cork County Council. The Dog Control Unit can be contacted by telephone at 021 4285405 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org