ARMAGH City, Banbr-idge and Craigavon Borough Council has issued a warning to dog owners as lambing season gets underway.
A spokeman said: “Dog worrying of livestock and especially sheep during lamb-
ing season is a very serious concern for farmers.
“Worrying livestock does not just mean attacking or killing cattle or sheep. If your dog chases livestock in such a way as could reasonably be expected to cause any form of suffering to the animals or a financial loss to their owner, it will be considered to have worried the livestock.
“The financial cost can be substantial, with the loss of valuable stock, veterinary care, abortions in attacked and frightened animals and damage to property.”
He added: “Although it is recognised that the vast majority of dogs are well looked after and are friendly family pets, all dogs have the potential to inflict injury and to worry livestock.”
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Co-uncil Dog Warden Service is reminding dog owners to act responsibly and ensure their dog is under control at all times and in particular kept secure at night.
Council’s dog wardens have the authority to seize any dog (of any type and breed) suspected of being involved in worrying or attacking livestock, owners may be prosecuted for any offences and a court may order the dog to be destroyed. A civil case may also be brought by the farmer for any financial loss suffered.
Council dog wardens res-pond to all incidents of dog worrying or attacks and anyone who witnesses a dog worrying or attacking livestock is encouraged to report this to the council’s dog warden by telephoning 0300 0300 900.