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Council Encourages Residents To Keep Dogs On Leads As Sheep Worrying Reports Begin

Mid Ulster District Council is reminding dog owners to keep their pets on leads as staff begin to deal with reports of sheep worrying.

Sheep worrying and attacks on livestock traditionally increase during spring, causing serious concern for farmers and the Council has recently received a number of reports regarding the worrying of livestock. In the past two weeks, three incidents took place where a number of sheep and lambs were killed and a few had to be humanely destroyed due to the extent of their injuries. In two of these incidents, a dog was shot dead at the scene. Since the start of January, there have been 11 incidents of attacks on livestock received by the Council.

Chair of Mid Ulster District Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Wilbert Buchanan said:

Such incidents of sheep and livestock worrying are very serious. Any dog can attack livestock, not just large dogs or stray dogs. To help prevent such incidents we ask that you be mindful of where your dog is at all times. If out for a walk please keep your dog on a lead and make sure your dog is kept secure during the day and housed at night.

Dog owners are reminded that not only is it an offence to let a dog stray, but also that worrying livestock is a criminal offence. The Council takes such reports very seriously and will prosecute any dog owner where evidence becomes available that their dog has been involved in worrying or attacking livestock.

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