Two dogs were shot dead following a sheep attack near Jenkinstown, Co Louth, last Wednesday, 13 February. A hill farmer’s flock of ewes came under attack by two dogs, one of which was a labrador.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal on behalf of the hill farmer, Matthew McGreehan from Louth IFA said that after seeing a disturbance in the field from his house, the farmer and a few neighbours went up to find two dogs worrying the in-lamb ewes.

He said that he could not restrain the dogs and was left with no option but to take action on the attacking dogs.

While no sheep were killed, McGreehan said the farmer is now fearful that he may lose some of the unborn lambs.

Separate dog attack

This attack comes just two weeks after 19 sheep were killed in a dog attack near Forkhill, Co Armagh, on the Louth-Armagh border. This attack featured a pack of five dogs containing restricted breeds, which killed 19 sheep from one flock.

Again, the attacking dogs were shot and the dog warden was called on site, but the damage had already been done.

While this incident happened in Armagh, McGreehan said that the dogs themselves came from across the border and he has called for an all-Ireland database.

“We need to have a system where authorities can access information on dog ownership from both sides of the border. We would also advocate to the Government that while the dog wardens are doing good work, they are hugely under-resourced.

"We’d also like to see an advertising campaign put out as I don’t think dog owners realise how much damage their pets can do. Sheep are being attacked every day and owners are not taking enough responsibility. We’ve unfortunately had to ban dogs from the Cooley Mountain walking trail as a result," he said.

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