A Wexford sheep farmer said he has been “devastated” by repeated dog attacks on his flock, leaving him at the loss of “close on €20,000”.
The farmer, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Irish Farmers Journal that he has had pedigree Suffolk, Texel and commercial ewes and lambs attacked by dogs in late May, September and again on Sunday 8 October.
The sheep have all been attacked by dogs in the same 4ac field, on an outfarm three miles from the farmer’s own farm. The land is located at Castlehayestown, Camross, Co Wexford.
On 30 April, two large German shepherd dogs were seen attacking the farmer's sheep by a non-farming neighbour of the outfarm.
The dog attack happened in the middle of the day and the neighbour had to chase the dogs away before the farmer could arrive.
“There were eight lambs missing that time and a couple killed,” he said.
On 22 September, the Wexford farmer went to bring in his ewes from the same field to take out sponges. The ewes were due to be let to the ram.
That day, there were six pedigree Texel ewes killed, three were severely injured and a further six went missing.
On Sunday, while there were no ewes killed, there were 10 injured, including three pedigree Suffolks, with “one or two” likely needing to be put down, the farmer said.
These ewes were “well in-lamb”, he said, describing it as a “disaster”.
The sheep farmer said that the gardaí have been contacted all three times and have viewed some of the dead and injured animals.
“I thought the guard was going to get sick,” the farmer said, as he described the wounds on some of the injured stock.
He said he has taken dog hairs from the briars around the field and said that this should be tested to prove which dogs were involved.
The farmer said that this isn’t the first run of dog attacks on sheep that he’s had to experience. He said that between the loss of the pedigree and commercial sheep and the vet and knackery bills, the three attacks this year have left him at a loss of “close on €20,000”.
“It’s ridiculous. It’s always around November to January. But this is three times in the same field,” he said, adding that he’s rented the land to farm and shouldn’t be forced to take his stock off it.
“I’ve to keep all my animals under control. So, why aren’t they being made do the same?” he asked.
Anyone with information regarding the dogs responsible for the attacks is asked to contact New Ross gardaí on 051-426 030.