DOG owners have been reminded to keep their pets on a lead near livestock this Spring, as farmers have the right to shoot them if they they threaten the safety of livestock.
John Cousins BVSc, MRCVS, Director of VioVet said today: “Sheep are flight animals, and will flee at full speed when around an unpredictable dog.”
“Dogs running amock amongst a flock of sheep can cause serious harm to expectant ewes, who may miscarry. It also affects the flock’s future lambing ability, damaging not just the animals but also the farmer’s livelihood.”
Legal responsibility for destruction of the farmer’s property, including to expectant ewes and newborn lambs, lies with the owner charged with the care of the dog.
Section nine of the Animals Act, 1971 states when the safety of livestock is threatened, the farmer or landowner maintains the right to shoot a dog, provided the incident is reported to police within 48 hours.