Donegal County Council is urging dog owners to keep their pets under control, especially during the lambing season when sheep are particularly vulnerable.
“Don’t let dogs loose in areas adjoining livestock fields–many attacks are caused by dogs which escape and attack sheep grazing nearby,” a council spokesperson said.
Dog owners are reminded that, particularly during lambing season, huge stress and trauma is caused to sheep by marauding dogs.
Owners can be held liable for damages and face prosecution in the courts if their pet attacks animals on another person’s land. Farmers are also within their rights to shoot any animal that is worrying their livestock.
Prosecution under Section 9 of Control of Dogs Act 1986 could result in a month in prison and/or a €600 fine.
Donegal County Council can also issue fixed penalty notices to owners under the Control of Dogs Act.