There have been calls for irresponsible dog owners to be held to account for attacks on livestock as the main lambing season approaches.

A spate of attacks over Christmas have renewed calls for more to be done. IFA national sheep chair Seán Dennehy wants to see better enforcement of existing regulations and more stringent fines for offenders.

“There are far too many dog owners not taking the responsibility that goes with owning a pet. Dog owners must have their dog under control at all times,” Dennehy said.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Association sheep chair Sean McNamara, said farmers were sick and tired of irresponsible dog owners: “There’s a need for greater education of the public on the harm that a dog can to do to a flock of pregnant ewes but the truth seems to be that some people just don’t care.”


A summary of some of the dog attacks in 2020.


Sheep were traumatised after a dog attack on the farm of Matthew McGreehan from Bellurgan, Co Louth. The same dog attacked another flock in the area and was shot by a farmer.


Two dogs were shot after they killed six in-lamb ewes on a farm in Dunboyne, Co Meath. The attack took place in late March, amid a spate of similar incidents in the area at that time.


A number of sheep were attacked and injured in Co Tipperary during the first week of April. The sheep were found in a distressed state in Ballywalter, Mullinahone.


A dog went on a six-week sheep killing spree in Wexford before being shot by a farmer. Eamon Furlong from outside Adamstown reported six of his lambs dead following the attack.


Seven ewes and 23 lambs were killed by two dogs during the first weekend of August in Ballinacarrow, Co Sligo. Sheep farmer Kevin McGlone’s whole flock had been worried.


A farmer from Ballynamult, Co Waterford, suspected huntsmen of allowing a pack of dogs attack his flock. Eithan Harty said he found 17 of his in-lamb ewes dead and another nine badly injured. Eight ewes carrying twins and triplets were killed during a dog attack on Arion Delaney’s farm. The attack, which took place in Camross, Coolrain, Co Laois, also left 132 in-lamb ewes severely stressed.