Belfast Telegraph

Angry farmers left to count cost after dogs attack in-lamb sheep

By Chris McCullough

Two large dogs that went on a killing rampage on Wednesday night have cost a number of Co Antrim farmers thousands of pounds in dead livestock.

Farmers on the Liberty Road near Carrickfergus woke to horrific scenes yesterday morning.

The dogs, thought to be crossbreeds, are believed to have been hounding the sheep all night, resulting in at least seven fatalities.

At around 9am yesterday farmer Michael Buckley saw the dogs attacking his flock of 17 in-lamb pedigree Texel ewes in a field close to his house.

Although he managed to shoot one of the dogs dead, the other escaped.

Five of his prized ewes are already dead but he fears the others will abort their lambs after they became traumatised.

"I feel totally sick," said Mr Buckley. "I found one ewe dead in the field and we had to call in the vet, who immediately euthanised four more.

"The dogs had forced some of the ewes into a corner and managed to kill one and kept on attacking the others.

"Their injuries were so bad the vet had no choice but to put them down."

The dead sheep have already been valued at around £500 each.

While Mr Buckley is upset about losing his own animals, he also feels terrible about having to shoot the dog.

Two neighbouring farmers also lost sheep. One of them, David Hamilton, found two lambs dead, with the hide ripped off one of them.

"The dogs had chased them from their own field through a fence into the next field and attacked them there," he said.

The local council warden, together with the PSNI, is investigating the attacks.

Belfast Telegraph

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