The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has issued a stark warning to dog owners that their pets can be shot on sight if they are found worrying sheep.
The warning comes after two savage dog attacks in Tipperary in recent weeks.
Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock
IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy said: “Dog owners can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks on sheep, with serious financial and legal consequences. Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock.”
IFA chair for south Tipperary Erica O’Keefe said the attacks, like the most recent one on a flock in Mullinahone by a pack of dogs, had become an all-too-common occurrence.
“The owner is devastated as a number of sheep were killed and more had to be put down.”
Recently in Cashel, seven lambs and a ewe were killed by dogs.
The IFA has a protocol to help those who encounter a dog attack on their flock. It outlines important aspects of the law and how the dog warden service and the gardaí can help.
A family pet can turn into a brutal killer
It also sets out how to keep a full record of the attack, which can be used as evidence at a later stage.
Dennehy concluded: “Dog owners who allow their pets to roam without restriction, are acting in a grossly irresponsible, reckless and selfish manner. A family pet can turn into a brutal killer and cause savagery and mayhem if they are not properly monitored.”