‘Ensure your dog is secure’

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Following a spate of serious sheep worrying, Ballymena’s Dog Warden is appealing to all dog owners to ensure their pets are properly secured.

Attacks on livestock over the last few months have resulted in a large number of sheep being killed outright or fatally injured as a result of dog attacks. The Times reported last week that there had been appeals to owners, and now the council’s dog warden has issued a warning of his own.

Nigel Devine said this is the worst spate of sheep worrying that he can remember since he started his role 17 years ago. He said: “It’s of vital importance that the dog owners responsible for this damage understand they are liable for any compensation that may be payable, together with any legal actions that may be taken under the Dogs (NI) Order 1983.

“Under this act, a farmer/livestock owner has the legal right to shoot any dog that on his or her land if they believe their livestock is at risk – sadly this has already happened within the Ballymena area and clearly we want to avoid this happening in future.”

Dog owners have a duty to ensure that their dogs are kept under control at all times and ensure they take the necessary steps to make sure they don’t stray. Anyone who has any information is asked to contact the Borough Warden in the Environmental Health Department 028 2566 0389