Deputy president of the Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU), William Irvine, has stated that farmers “can not proceed to tolerate” cases of livestock worrying in Northern Eire.

Irvine is urging all rural canine house owners to remember that “Northern Eire’s countryside performs residence to many pregnant ewes and new child lambs” throughout springtime.

The livestock worrying incident in Co. Armagh resulted within the loss of life of a sheep. Picture: UFU

“Canines shouldn’t be allowed to disturb these animals,” he stated.

“I’d remind all canine house owners, whether or not strolling alongside rural roads or by the countryside subsequent to fields and farms, that canines have to be saved underneath management as there’s the potential for livestock worrying,” he stated.

“We repeatedly challenge this recommendation, nonetheless, it continues to be dismissed by many.”

Irvine stated {that a} UFU member in Co. Armagh fell sufferer to “devastating livestock worrying incident on his flock” final week.

“There’s a consensus amongst canine house owners that their pet canine wouldn’t interact in such assaults, nonetheless, I’d urge canine house owners to keep in mind that the need to hunt and chase is a part of any canine’s pure intuition,” he stated.

“If a canine had been to interact in a chase this might end in harm or loss of life of these sheep who fall foul to the actions of irresponsible canine house owners.”

Livestock welfare

Canine assaults, Irvine stated, trigger stress and trauma to flocks, but additionally to the farmer and the farmer’s household.

Sheep which have been chased by canines up to now and have survived by no means absolutely recuperate from the assault, he stated.

“The welfare of livestock is a precedence for farmers and any assault on sheep can also be an assault on the farmer’s livelihood.

“The most secure and most applicable factor for all canine walkers to do is to all the time maintain their canine(s) on a lead when out exploring – I can not emphasis this sufficient. When canine house owners don’t maintain their canines on a lead and act responsibly, there are penalties,” the UFU deputy president stated.

Irvine urged any farmer that falls sufferer to a livestock worrying incident to contact their native canine warden for investigation.

“In Northern Eire canine wardens are employed by every of the eleven native councils and may be contacted by way of the phone,” he stated.