DOGS IN FRENZIED ATTACK ON SHEEP
TWO hunting dogs were shot dead by a farmer after they savaged at least half of the 110 sheep in a flock grazing in a field at Barntown.
Farm manager Gus Connick said the dogs chased the flock for several hours, killing and wounding the sheep and driving them into ditches, fences and a river where some of them drowned. Five sheep are still missing.
Mr Connick said the attack was the worst of three similar incidents within a few miles radius in recent months.
‘ The future of sheep farming is not looking good for me,’ he said.
He said the first he knew of the frenzied attack was around 5 a.m. last Thursday when he got a call saying sheep were running in the field and the family who owned the field, could hear dogs barking.
‘When we got there, we found some of the sheep had gone out over ditches and more had got down beside a big river valley in briars and trees. It was 10 a.m. by the time we found the dogs which were still killing sheep at that time,’ said Mr Connick, farm manager for Camross-based Orna Foley.
He said five sheep had been killed by the dogs, others were badly injured and had to be put down, and some had aborted during the chase by the dogs, two Pointers.
‘ There were 110 sheep in the field and about half them were attacked. It was very stressful,’ he said.
‘ The sheep are absolutely worthless now because they are too badly damaged. They are not fit for human consumption and are not fit to breed,’ he said.
‘ The dogs belonged to a young chap in a gun club. He had taken the dogs out to water, but they ran off and wouldn’t return. He had gone out searching for them, but couldn’t find them.’
Mr Connick estimated that the farm has lost more than €7,000 as a result of the attack and the costs of employing extra people to recover the sheep and carry them from rivers and hedges where they had been driven by the dogs.
Gus Connick and son Tommy on his farm with some of the sheep that were attacked by dogs.
One of the wounds inflicted by a dog.