UFU says dogs must be kept under control

Thursday, 6 December, 2018

As the Christmas break approaches the Ulster Farmers’ Union is urging people bringing dogs into the countryside to behave responsibly by making sure their pets do not disturb or attack livestock.

Dog owners and huntsmen/women are being warned that many ewes will now be heavily in lamb or may have just lambed. This makes them vulnerable and UFU deputy president, Victor Chestnutt, says this year livestock worrying cases reached an all-time high. “It is never acceptable to allow a dog or pack of dogs to attack farm animals and I would remind all owners that it is illegal to allow a dog onto land with livestock unless the dog is under control.” 

Each January the UFU is inundated with reports from members about livestock attacked over the Christmas and New Year break. It is hoping this can be avoided over the coming weeks. “All dogs must be on a lead when around livestock and owners who live near the countryside must make sure their dogs cannot escape from their homes. They also need to realise that if a dog is worrying livestock, farmers may have no other option but to exercise their right to kill it to protect their livestock,” said Mr Chestnutt. 

Mr Chestnutt added that with a better understanding of the risks and potential consequences he believed the annual carnage on farms over the holiday break could be avoided.