Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council has been receiving complaints from landowners around the Ballycastle area regarding sheep worrying.
Dog owners have been allowing their dogs to stray into land where livestock are present. Council’s Environmental Health Department is making an appeal to all dog owners to keep a very close eye on their dogs and be aware of their whereabouts at all times, as the consequences can be severe for those who are caught having their dogs off the lead and straying onto farming land.
This is currently lambing season for farmers, as ewes are heavily pregnant and dogs entering these fields can cause unnecessary stress to the ewes. Council requests that all dog walkers who walk in the forestry areas to be especially careful as their dogs can easily stray into neighbouring farm land where livestock are present.
It is an offence to permit a dog to be on any land where livestock are legitimately present unless the dog is on a lead and under control. An £80.00 fixed penalty may be issued for this offence and a maximum penalty of £1000 may be imposed on conviction.
Dog owners must realise the damage their dogs can do and in certain circumstances farmers have the right to shoot any dogs found worrying sheep. Council requests that anyone who witnesses any stray dogs roaming around to please contact the Environmental Health Department at the local Council office in order that appropriate action can be taken.
- Ballycastle, 02820762225
- Ballymoney, 02827660200.
- Coleraine, 02870347034.
- Limavady, 02877722226.