The Department of Agriculture should avoid sheep inspections during the busy lambing months, according to the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA).
ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara said the Department must show “greater flexibility” around sheep inspections in the interests of animal welfare and to avoid the additional burden they place on sheep farmers at such an already time intensive period of the year.
McNamara said: “There are welfare issues when it comes to moving heavy in-lamb or recently lambed ewes. They do not need to be subjected to unnecessary stress.
Inspections can pile the pressure on
“As sheep farmers, we are on duty 24 hours a day at this time of year.
“Inspections can pile the pressure on and unless they are absolutely necessary, they should be carried out in the quieter months.”
The Westmeath farmer also reminded dog owners not to become complacent when it comes to knowing where their pets are at all times.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for dog owners to be extra vigilant
“Every lambing season we see the same carnage caused by dogs around the country. Any dog can cause mayhem with livestock if they are allowed to roam free.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is for dog owners to be extra vigilant, particularly at this time of year. Attacks on sheep and lambs are utterly preventable with responsible dog ownership.”