Council Reminds Dog Owners to Keep Control of Their Pets Near Livestock
Dog worrying of livestock is a problem farmers face throughout the year but poses a particular concern with the approach of lambing season.
Worrying livestock can take many forms and does not only mean when a dog attacks or kills sheep or cattle. Chasing livestock, causing animals distress are all considered worrying and can have serious consequences. The financial cost of worrying can be substantial, with the loss of valuable stock, veterinary care, abortions in attacked and frightened animals, and damage to property.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin said, “Dog worrying can be a real problem and the Council is determined to do all it can to ensure that dog owners understand the serious consequences for both the animal and its owner. With lambing time near, the Council would wish to remind dog owners of their responsibilities in ensuring that their pets are under control at all times and, in particular, that they are kept secure at night.”
The vast majority of dogs are friendly family pets but all dogs have the potential to inflict injury and to worry livestock. The Council’s Dog Warden Service has the authority to seize any dog (of any type and breed) suspected of being involved in worrying or attacking livestock. Dog owners may be prosecuted for any offences and a court may order the dog to be destroyed. A civil case may also be brought by the farmer for any financial loss suffered.
The Dog Wardens respond to all incidents of dog worrying or attacks and anyone who witnesses a dog worrying or attacking livestock is encouraged to report it to them by telephoning 0300 013 2233.