A dog attack on a sheep flock is always traumatic, even more so when it is near lambing. And when it is a repeat attack, it only compounds the frustration and anger.
Jacob Humphreys farms in Cummer, Meelin, Newmarket, Co Cork, but lives 10 miles away. His sheep flock was attacked two years ago and now has been worried by dogs again, close to lambing.
“The sheep are pining, they aren’t eating. About 10 lambs have been born ahead of time and didn’t survive. Another two were born to a ewe whose udder was ripped in the attack, she can’t rear them. I gave them away as pets.”
The attack happened on Sunday, 8 February, and Jacob contacted the gardai the next morning. They still haven’t called out, he says.
“There’s little point going to the gardai, they won’t do anything. People don’t control their dogs, they can roam free at night, it’s not right,” he said.
“There’s little enough in sheep as it is, this takes away my income.”
As ever, the appeal is for people to ensure their dogs are under control at all times.
Dogs should only be allowed out of their compounds under supervision. The next two months will see about 2.5m lambs born around the country, so it’s a critical period for ewe flocks.
It’s crucial that ewes are not exposed to undue stress of any kind, particularly by dogs wandering around through them.