Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is asking pet owners to play their part to reduce cases of sheep worrying.
The appeal comes following a successful court prosecution where Mr Alan Howard of Coolyvenny Road, Coleraine was found guilty of two contraventions of Article 28(2) (a) of The Dogs (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 during a hearing at Ballymena Magistrates Court on January 7th 2022.
He was fined £250 in respect of each offence and was also ordered to pay compensation of £1000 to the farmer along with £200 in costs to Council and a £15 offender levy.
Council wants to remind the public that along with attacking or killing cattle or sheep, if your dog gives chase in such a way that could reasonably be expected to cause any form of suffering to the animals or a financial loss to their owner, it will be considered as livestock worrying.
The financial cost of such incidents can be substantial with the loss of valuable stock, veterinary care, abortions in attacked or frightened animals and damage to property. For these reasons, it is a very serious concern for farmers, especially during lambing season.
While most dogs are well looked after, friendly family pets, they all have the potential to inflict injury and to worry livestock.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is urging dog owners to ensure their pets are under control at all times and kept in a secure place at night.
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.
Dog Wardens will respond to all incidents of worrying or attacks and anyone who witnesses an incident is encouraged to make a report by ringing 028 2766 0233.