A Co Tyrone farmer has been left counting the cost after a dog attack resulted in the loss of a ewe and four lambs.
Marshall Irvine, who lives halfway between Fivemiletown and Clogher, made the horrific discovery of the incident on Wednesday after going to fields to drop off more sheep and lambs.
He believes the attack took place some time on Tuesday.
“We had left the sheep round the road and then on Wednesday I happened to be leaving more round, but I couldn’t see the ones that should have been there,” Marshall explained.
“I went back later on and then found four lambs lying dead and a ewe lying dead and then I found the other sheep and I could see the wool pulled off them. I didn’t see any dogs at all.
“Four lambs and a ewe were dead and there were still a couple of lambs missing, so I didn’t know what they had done with them,” said the farmer, who has no idea where the dogs may have come from.
“I couldn’t find the other sheep, and there were some that I didn’t find until today (Thursday). I got one half a mile around the road and I got another one another half mile in the other direction. There was some that I hadn’t found because they had got into the bushes, though they were still on their own land.
“I have been in touch with the dog warden but they said that because I hadn’t seen the dog, there is nothing that they could do. The police said something similar.”
Marshall said that although there is a financial loss, it is something no farmer wants to see happening to his livestock. He has had previous incidents where sheep have been worried but nothing as serious as this incident.
The Co Tyrone man said he hopes local people will be on the alert for dogs loose in the countryside: “I would be afraid of them coming back and starting on someone elses sheep,” he added.