UFU call for ‘responsible’ dog walking over lambing season

editorial image

A Carrickfergus councillor has backed a call from the Ulster Farmers’ Union to keep dogs under control during lambing season.

Councillor Andrew Wilson indicated that sheep worrying has been an ongoing issue in the rural Knockagh area.

“Fields in Farm Lodge, Knockagh, rural Woodburn and Eden will be filled to the brim with lambs, ewes and rams at this time of the year,” he said.

“I would urge that dog walkers and dog owners take the appropriate precautions when in the countryside in order to minimise the distress on the animals and farming community who play a vital role to our economy and also in society.”

The local councillor’s comments follow a warning from UFU deputy president Ivor Ferguson.

“Everyone is a loser when it comes to a sheep worrying incident. Farmers often bear the serious financial and emotional cost of the incident and if the dogs are identified, they may be destroyed and the owner pursued for the cost of the incident,” Mr Ferguson said.

“We want everyone to experience the beautiful and peaceful countryside that we have in Northern Ireland and it is important that there is a positive relationship between farmers and other rural dwellers. All that we ask is that all rural dog walkers act responsibly by being aware of their surroundings, keep an eye out for livestock and keep their dog on a lead.”