‘Your dog faces being shot if it’s not kept under control’ – Wicklow pet owners warned
Wicklow dog owners have been warned by the ISPCA to keep their pets under control at all times or they could be shot.
Farmers are entitled to shoot dogs to protect their flock if they are endangering livestock on their property, so owners must ensure their dog is under control and that it cannot escape at any time, but especially now, which is peak lambing season.
The Irish Farmers Association estimate that upwards of 3,000 livestock are lost each year to dog attacks.
“In recent weeks there have been a number of reports of dog attacks killing or causing horrific injuries to sheep and lambs,” ISPCA CEO Dr Andrew Kelly said.
“Dog owners must keep their dogs under control at all times and can be held responsible for attacks on sheep which can have serious financial and legal consequences.”
“This can be a hugely stressful time for sheep farmers trying to protect their flock and they can often experience horrific dog attacks, causing damage to their sheep, pregnant ewes and lambs during lambing season, from January through to Spring.
“Even the most docile, well-behaved dogs’ natural instinct is to chase, which can result in them taking part in pack behaviour.
“Pregnant ewes can be seriously injured in a panic to escape from chasing dogs, often miscarrying their lambs, which is devastating for farmers.
“Allowing a dog to roam is not only irresponsible but it is also an offence not to have your dog under effective control and local authorities are enforcing the Control of Dog’s Act.”
The ISPCA is also reminding dog owners that it is a legal requirement to have all dog’s microchipped and puppies must be microchipped by the time they are 12 weeks old or before they leave the breeding premises.
The ISPCA is also emphasising the importance of spaying/neutering their pets which is another key component to responsible pet ownership.