A Milford farmer who discovered that a vicious dog attack that ripped apart 10 lambs and 6 ewes on his lands at Golan on Good Friday said the carnage was the worst and most sickening experience of his thirty years in farming.
The flock owner, John McBride had 21 sheep and 21 lambs in a leased field near Golan about three miles from his home.
The Tirconail Tribune reports the farmer inspected the flock on Wednesday evening and the group of ten weeks old lambs were all thriving.
But when he went back to check the field on Good Friday he said the sight of the ravaged flock sickened him to the core of his heart.
And he found the remainder of the flock cowering in a corner in fear of their lives and believes that some may not survive the trauma they suffered.
The remainder of the flock had to be removed to a safer place and Mr. McBride says that while he has leased the field for a five year period he will never again put sheep there because the risk is too great.
In what can only be described as the most gruesome of attacks, Mr. McBride said that the sheep had been torn apart and it was evident there was more than one dog involved.
He also believes there were two separate attacks and those dog owners must know their animals returned home with the coats and muzzles covered in blood.
Mr. McBride said: “I’ve been in the sheep business all my life and never thought that I would witness such carnage and the extent of the injuries was the worst experience I’ve ever had.
“I cannot understand how any dog owner could allow this to happen because these owners know full well what their animals were up to. Those dogs would have returned home with all the tell-tale signs of a major sheep kill. These owners are acting irresponsibly and the sooner these dogs are identified and dealt with the safer our countryside and sheep flocks will be,” he said.
The sickening attack was in the townland of Labadubh and the field is shielded by forestry.
The area is remote and with few houses close by and there are very few dog in close proximity. However, John McBride believes the dogs involved have been hunting in packs: they’ve killed before and will do again if not caught and put down.
The attack has alerted other flock owners to take their own precautions because they fear these dogs will return and inflict more damage to valuable flocks. And farmers are deeply concerned that defenceless animals should be subjected to such a horrific death.
Sheep farmers believe these dogs are out of control but nobody is able to provide any clues about their ownership.
Anyone with any suspicions about stray dogs is asked to contact the Gardai at Milford on 91-53060.
Farm groups have come out this lambing season to warn dog owners to remain vigilant and to help prevent sheep attacks.
With the news of the killer dog still on the loose in the Golan area and around Milford a farm representative in the IFA warned that it’s important now more than ever for farmers and dog owners to be aware of the dangers of sheep attacks.
As the lambing season is now peaking around the country sheep and lambs are at their most vulnerable. There has been some 2.5 million ewes lambing down this spring and with late nights for many owners, thinking of the dangers of dogs is the last thing farmers want to worry about.
At the start of the lambing season, the IFA’s John Lynskey issued a stark warning to all dog owners that they are fully responsible for keeping control of their animals at all times.
Lynskey said that a number of dog attacks have been highlighted in recent weeks across the country, where major financial losses have been incurred and dogs out of control have inflicted serious damage on a number of sheep flocks.Tags: