A farmer from Ballynamult, Co Waterford, suspects huntsmen of allowing a pack of dogs attack his flock of in-lamb ewes.
“I went out to the field on Sunday, 13 December to check on the ewes and found 17 laying dead and another nine badly savaged,” Eithan Harty told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“I’ve had three of the injured ewes put down and there’s another six with broken legs that don’t look good. The field is half an hour away from home over in Aglish, and I had 50 ewes in total running in one flock.”
After discovering broken fences and traps in surrounding fields, Harty has concluded that huntsmen’s dogs were involved in the attack.
“It’s the dog’s instinct to kill, it’s the owners I blame. I had 100 ewes altogether, so this one attack has wiped out a quarter of my breeding stock.
“Nothing will ever come of it and no one will be held to account. These ewes were worth €250 per head and cost me €300 to properly dispose of. The attack has cost me in excess of €5,000.”