Three breeding ewes and 13 lambs were killed on a farm in Glenmalure Valley, Co Wicklow, last week, owner of the sheep Daniel Dowling told the Irish Farmers Journal.

“My sister saw the dogs in the field and she raised the alarm.

“My brother and I went down and we saw the dogs attacking my sheep.”

Daniel’s brother Michael shot the two dogs after they arrived on the scene and witnessed the massacre.

The massacre of the 16 sheep took place during the daytime at 2pm. / Daniel Dowling

The full extent of the damage from this attack is not yet known, Dowling said.

Fourteen sheep were killed instantly, two died the following day and there are seven lambs still receiving veterinary treatment.

“This attack happened at 2pm in broad daylight.

“Think of the damage that could have been done if the dogs had attacked in the middle of the night,” he added.

Financial loss

Dowling said that he couldn’t possibly estimate the total financial loss, as he supplies his own lamb to a restaurant that he runs locally.

He reported the incident to local gardaí.

Dowling is worried about the stress caused to the sheep that survived the attack. / Daniel Dowling

Wicklow IFA hill farming committee chair Peter Behan said dog owners are continuing to demonstrate a total lack of regard for livestock and farmers' livelihoods, even though they have been warned many times.

These attacks can cause a huge financial loss and an unwanted stress, he added.

He continued: “The worst part about having sheep killed is that many dog owners still don’t show any remorse or respect for our livelihood or, as is the case in this situation, it is too late when they do.”

Many of the surviving sheep have been severely damaged. / Daniel Dowling.