Laois gardaí have issued a reminder to dog owners of their responsibility to keep their dogs under control in the lead up to lambing season.
This comes after a number of incidents have occurred where packs of dogs have attacked and killed sheep lately.
Gardaí have said that in west Offaly, up to eight sheep were killed by dogs in one incident.
Gardaí have shared a graphic image to how the damage that packs of dogs can do when they are together.
Warning - some readers may find this image disturbing.
Gardaí are reminding people of the offences they can face if they fail to take responsibility for the control of their dogs.
The Control of Dogs Act 1983 states the following on Dog Control:
(1) The owner or any other person in charge of a dog shall not permit the dog to be in any place other than—
(a) the premises of the owner, or
(b) the premises of such other person in charge of the dog, or
(c) the premises of any other person, with the consent of that person,
unless such owner or such other person in charge of the dog accompanies it and keeps it under effectual control.
(2) If a dog worries livestock, the owner or any other person in charge of the dog shall be guilty of an offence unless it is established that at the material time the dog worried the livestock for the purpose of removing trespassing livestock and that having regard to all the circumstances the action was reasonable and necessary.
(3) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (2) of this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €500, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one month, or, at the discretion of the court, to both such fine and such imprisonment.