Sheep worrying at Ballynure

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Farmers in the Ballynure area are appealing for help in identifying the owners of dogs believed to be responsible for a number of sheep worrying incidents.

It is understood that 17 sheep have been killed with a similar number ‘worried’ within a six mile square radius of the Castle Road, Castletown Road, Moss Road and Ballybracken Road area in recent weeks.

The incidents involved sheep belonging to six different farmers and it is believed that two dogs may be responsible.

One local farmer explained: “The incidents are always at dark. The first one was in the evening. The elderly gentleman brought his sheep in from the fields and then he heard a racket at 6am in the morning and the dogs were back at the sheep again. The last incident was two nights ago. The dogs go for the throat and the heads of the sheep.

“Farmers have been in touch with the police but they say that they can’t do anything until someone can pinpoint where the dogs are coming from or who they belong to. The dogs must come from inside that five mile square radius,” he added.

He said that in an attempt to track the dogs down, local farmers have been out with lamps at night but so far without success.

“I would just appeal to members of the public to keep an eye out for these dogs so we can find out who they belong to or where they come from. People should contact the police if they know who owns them.

“I have had my sheep away at winter grazing and will be bringing them to this area for lambing and I am wondering how safe this will be.”

A police spokesperson said they would like to speak to anyone who has knowledge of the incidents. They can be contacted on the non-emergency number 101.