Following a number of serious dog attacks on sheep in the area, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is reminding owners and walkers to keep control of their dogs when near livestock.
During the past week alone, Council received and investigated three complaints of worrying livestock with multiple sheep fatalities.
Worrying livestock is a very serious concern for farmers. Whilst worrying of livestock can involve attacking or killing, it also includes the chasing of sheep or cattle.
Chasing by dogs can do serious damage to livestock, even if the dog does not catch them. The stress of worrying by
dogs can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs causing financial loss to a farmer.
This financial cost can be substantial, with the loss of valuable stock, veterinary care, abortions in attacked and frightened animals and damage to property.
Unaccompanied dogs and dogs not under control can be involved in livestock worrying incidents, ABC Council is reminding dog owners to act responsibly and ensure their dog is under control at all times and in particular kept secure at night.
Stressing the importance of responsible dog ownership, Lord Mayor of Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Paul Greenfield said: “While we know that the vast majority of dogs are well looked after and are friendly family pets, it should be recognised that it is every dog’s instinct to chase, meaning all dogs have the potential to inflict injury and to worry livestock.
“This worrying of livestock is a very serious concern for farmers and we urge dog owners to always act responsibly
by keeping their dog safely and securely confined and under control at all times.”
The council has the authority to seize any dog (of any type and breed) suspected of being involved in worrying or attacking livestock, owners may be prosecuted for any offences and a court may order the dog to be destroyed. A civil case may also be brought by the farmer for any financial loss suffered.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council responds to all reported incidents of dog worrying or attacks and anyone who witnesses a dog worrying or attacking livestock is encouraged to report this by telephoning 0300 0300 900.