A total of 22 in-lamb ewes were killed during a dog attack on Slieve Mish Mountains, Co Kerry, in late December, IFA Kerry hill committee chair Pat O’Shea told the Irish Farmers Journal.
“The farmer approached me in the new year and told me about the stress he has suffered as a result of the attack.
“This situation has become common place in recent weeks.
“Dogs are running wild on the hills and it’s the sheep farmers who are paying the price for it.
“A small number of dog owners are being extremely careless and are destroying hill walking for everyone else.”
Meanwhile, the IFA has launched a campaign which will see all dog walkers denied access to farmland.
O’Shea continued: “Two weeks ago, another farmer in the area told me that a dog had chased 32 of his sheep over two miles away from the farm and across a very busy road. Four of the sheep are still missing today as a result.
“It can be a lonely life looking after sheep up on the mountain and farmers love to see walkers come from all over the world to enjoy the scenery. With this said, the welfare of our sheep has to be priority.”
The IFA has reminded dog owners that sheep farmers are entitled under law to defend their livestock and if their flock is threatened, the law does allow them to shoot the dog.