A man from Dunmurry has spoken of his distress after his pet dog had to be destroyed after the Siberian husky pup killed a farmer’s chickens.
John Marrs (33) and his wife Niamh (31) say they are “gutted” about the death of eight-month-old Yakov.
The Marrs’ husky dogs are never allowed off a leash in public and are kept in a fenced enclosure at home.
However, at 6.30am on on Wednesday, the couple discovered the gate of the enclosure had been opened and two of their dogs, Yakov and Leon, were missing. They suspect the gate had been opened maliciously.
Niamh called the police, just as a farmer in the nearby Barnfield Road area also called them to report a dog in his chicken run.
Yakov was in the chicken run surrounded by 10 dead chickens, but Leon (3) was nowhere to be seen.
John Marrs said a dog warden from Lisburn City Council told him both dogs would be destroyed that day.
“Yakov was just a pup and didn’t know what he was doing,” Mr Marrs said.
“The farmer had a great attitude and only wanted compensation for the chickens.
“Leon was given a reprieve because the farmer stepped in and said he hadn’t done anything.”
Mr Marrs said he was told if he went to court he would face a criminal record, a fine, plus costs and Yakov would definitely still be destroyed.
Ronnie Milsop from Dogs Trust Ballymena told the Belfast Telegraph the courts can use their discretion to impose other sanctions.
“It really should have been a matter for the owner and the farmer,” Mr Milsop said.
No one from Lisburn City Council and its dog warden service was available for comment on Friday and yesterday because of the Easter holidays.
On livestock attacks, Lisburn City Council website says: “Under the Dogs Order (NI) 1983 as amended by the Dangerous Dogs (NI) Order 1991, it is against the law for dogs to chase or attack livestock. The law states: Where a dog has attacked or killed livestock, the court shall make an order directing the dog to be destroyed.”