Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue has relaunched an advertisement reminding dog owners that sheep worrying remains as big an issue as ever, particularly during lambing season.
Sheep worrying brings immense and unnecessary stress upon farmers, the Minister said.
“Many of us will remember the 1984 advertisement featuring Bonzo the dog, the theme of which remains as relevant today as back in the 1980s,” Minister McConalogue said.
“Each year, dogs that are allowed to run free are a menace to sheep.
“Uncontrolled pets can decimate a flock, with reports suggesting that up to 4,000 sheep are killed or seriously injured in dog attacks yearly.”
Pet owners are responsible for ensuring that their dogs are under control at all times.
Sheep worrying can occur at any time of the year, but it is hugely problematic when it happens during the lambing season.
Up to 2.5 million lambs are born across the country every spring.
Sheep flocks are very vulnerable to dog attacks at this critical time and especially during the night, the Department warned.
‘‘Dog owners must remember that even the gentlest family pet can kill or maim sheep and lambs if allowed to roam. Never let your dog out unsupervised, especially at night,” Minister McConalogue said.