Lambing Season Is Here Again

Posted in Connect on February 5, 2020.

Sheep farming is central to Mayo’s agricultural heritage.  The county has the third highest number of sheep in the country at over 400,000 with 274,000 ewes.

As the lambing season is underway Mayo County Council would like to remind dog owners to be vigilant and keep their dogs under control at all times day and night.  Sheep attacks result in sheep and lambs dying from their injuries, lambs being aborted and stock not thriving.

Pets can inflict horrendous damage on a sheep flock in an attack and the owners can be held responsible for the losses involved with serious financial and legal consequences. Dog owners are responsible for ensuring their pets are under control at all times.

Pregnant ewes on the point of lambing at this time of year are particularly vulnerable to dog attacks.

Mayo County Council’s Dog warden Laura Mulligan  “ It is important in rural areas, particularly where there is livestock, that dogs are not allowed wander or be off leads. Dog owners should be extra vigilant when walking dogs in areas of commonage”   Our Dog Warden receive calls regularly from farmers who have suffered serious loss and trauma as a result of loose dogs attacking flocks. Any dog can do a lot of damage to sheep in a short length of time.  All dogs should wear a collar with owner details, be microchipped and be licensed.

The IFA has developed a protocol for farmers who encounter a dog attack on their sheep flock.

  1. Stop the dogs
  2. Follow the law
  3. Inform the Gardai
  4. Ring the Dog Warden
  5. Contact the IFA
  6. Ring the Vet
  7. Keep the Evidence/Take a picture
  8. Get a valuation of losses
  9. Inform your insurance company
  10. Tell your sheep farming neighbours


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