Dog owners in Donegal have been urged to be responsible.
An Garda Síochána have issued a message after a recent increase in incidents of stray dogs attacking sheep.
Gardaí warn that farmers whose livestock is being worried by dogs are within their rights to shoot.
Dog owners have been told to keep their animals ‘under effectual control’.
“Dogs should not be allowed roam,” Gardaí said.
“We wish to remind dog owners of the harm their pets can cause if let roam free or unsecured and not kept under effectual control.
“With dog ownership comes responsibility. Secure your dog, have it microchipped and registered with your vet.
“This time of year onwards we see issues with sheep kills when dogs attack livestock. Dogs should not be allowed roam.
“If your dog attacks animals on someone’s land, you could be held liable for the damages and face prosecution. The farmer is also within their right to shoot any animal that is worrying their livestock.”
A prosecution under Section 9 of the Control of Dogs Act 1986 could result in one month in prison and/or €600 fine.
Last week, it emerged that farmers have become concerned that a number of dogs which are 'running riot' in the Hornhead, Portnablagh and Dunfanaghy will cause sheep to lose lambs.
Councillor Michael McCafferty said: "It has come to light that dog owners are letting their dogs repeatedly run riot in recent weeks from Hornhead, Portnablagh and Dunfanaghy where sheep are located.
“Whether walking on our beaches, walkways or rural sideroads, please keep your dog(s) under control, at all times.”
Last Wednesday, a dog attacked a flock of sheep in the Culdaff area, killing one ewe that was lambing and injuring another.
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