A WARNING has gone out to all dog owners around Ballinakill dogs savaged a flock of sheep in a horrific attack in the area over the bank holiday weekend.
Raggetstown farmer Francie Gorman lost a total of 14 lambs is is out of pocked by at least €5,000 after two attacks over Friday and Sunday nights. He said a further ten lambs described as “as good as dead”.
Mr Gorman told the Leinster Express that at the moment he and his wife Kay are treating the injured lambs with antibiotics and for shock, but said that there are a number of injured animals still in the field unable to be caught.
“We don’t know how many dogs did this, but they killed sheep in every corner of the field. They must have stayed at it for a while. I haven’t heard of a kill as bad as this in years. We have as good as 24 lambs dead and between 30 to 40 lambs very badly damaged,” he said.
Mr Gorman said that in monetary value, he estimates that he and his wife Kay have lost a minimum of €5,000. “Lamb prices were almost €150 a piece last year and they were averaging at well over €100 throughout the year. We had lambs ready to sell in six to eight weeks, and I don’t know when they will be ready now. It is going to take them an age to recover”.
Mr Gorman said that the farm will suffer a huge loss coming into the summer months, and there is no guarantee that the dogs won’t be back again.
“It is not just the money though, it was just horrific to see the suffering and cruelty. It is terrible after spending so long trying to get a sheep going and get him out into the field to see him savaged like that,” he said.
Mr Gorman said that all dogs should be kept under control by their owners to prevent such an attack happening again.
“Whoever owns the dogs would definitely know, they would have come back covered in blood. The chances of me getting compensation are very slight but it is not about that. If it is not highlighted those dogs will get out again,” he said.
Mr Gorman said that sheep are at risk all year round when dogs are not kept in, but “this time of year is when you especially don’t like sheep to be distubed. Sheep are very suseptable to shock, they wouldn’t be as strong as cattle for example”.
The local vet Anthony Casserly told the Leinster Express that people have to be warned to keep their dogs locked up.
“This attack was as bad as I ever saw to be honest. People need to keep their dogs locked up and under control. It is very sad when something like this happens,” he said.
The Abbeyleix Gardaí also attended the scene and a spokesman appealed for any members of the public with information to come forward.
“We would be appealing for information from any dog owners in the area, and also for farmers to look our for their animals at the moment,” he said.
Anyone who has information can contact Abbeyleix Garda Station at 057 87 31202.