Gardaí are investigating an alleged attack by a dog on sheep in the Roundwood, Ballinastoe area of Co. Wicklow that resulted in the death of three sheep and left others left seriously injured.
It is understood that the dog attacked several sheep in a field, before someone working close by intervened and stopped the attack.
The incident, which gardaí said involved “a number of alleged animal offences”, took place on Friday, September 1, at around 4:00p.m.
Gardaí confirmed that “investigations are ongoing”.
speaking to Agriland about the dog attack, Wicklow Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) county chairman Tom Byrne said that the sheep were “horrendously mauled”.
“One dead on the day, two had to be put down, and we’re not sure about the rest,” he added.
One of the sheep, Byrne said, had “their face and ears eaten off them”.
“You don’t know what way sheep are going to perform, you don’t know whether they are going to go back in lamb or not,” he added about sheep after attacks.
It is understood that a man who was working nearby happened to see the attack take place, and intervened.
Byrne said that the dog then “attacked” the man before the dog then traveled back to his owners house close by.
According to Byrne, the man followed the dog and “took photographs of the bloody dog in the owners yard and told the owner the dog was after attacking the sheep”.
“This is the second or third time this same dog has attacked the sheep, and the neighbor did nothing about it,” he said.
Agriland understands that the owner has since brought the dog to be put down and has offered to pay veterinary bills for the farmer.
The IFA Roundwood branch chairperson Mary-Catherine Murphy said “there was no question of ownership” as the dog was followed to the owners.
Dogs worrying sheep has become an issue in Co. Wicklow, according to Murphy, who said it is occurring in “any of the parts of Wicklow where there are walking trails”.
“It has gone out of control at this stage. There doesn’t seem to be a law in place,” he said.
“The public aren’t afraid of the consequences of their dog getting out.”