An Garda Síochána has warned dog owners of the damage their animals can do, after the death of seven sheep in Co Offaly.

The attack took place on Tuesday in the Belmont area of Offaly. It’s been reported that the farmer witnessed the attack, but was unable to intervene.

This incident follows on from reports of numerous attacks on sheep throughout the year, which have a huge emotional and financial impact on farmers.

Warning: graphic image to follow

IFA sheep chair John Lynskey condemned the attack, saying: “Unfortunately, I am taking calls on a frequent basis from sheep farmers around the country who have suffered attacks. There are far too many dog owners not taking the responsibility that goes with owning a pet. Dog owners have an obligation to have their dog under control at all times.”

Statistics collected by the IFA estimate that there are roughly 300 to 400 dog attacks on sheep every year, with 11 sheep on average killed or injured in each attack.

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Farmer left counting the cost of sheep cost