Newry & Armagh DUP Assemblyman William Irwin MLA has urged dog owners to ensure their pets are under control and not able to roam freely and worry sheep.
Mr Irwin made the call after local farmers in the Derryhaw area of Armagh raised concerns over dog attacks in recent days which resulted in sheep dying.
The MLA said: “This is a concerning time of year for sheep farmers as they prepare for lambing season and farmers have contacted me with concerns that dog owners are in some cases completely unware that their pets are chasing sheep and killing them. This is unacceptable.
“Sheep worrying is a real issue and a costly issue for farmers especially when dogs actually kill the sheep. Dog owners need to know where their dogs are and prevent them from freely roaming and attacking sheep.”
He concluded: “It is not abnormal for a dog to travel some distance before attacking sheep and this makes it very difficult for a farmer to try and identify the dog and know who actually owns the animal. That is why it is so important for dog owners not to allow their pets to simply roam the countryside as it can have costly consequences for the farmer.”