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Eight sheep killed in suspected dog attack in Hollymount

Sheep attack
Patsy Colleran found eight of his sheep dead last week.

Eight sheep killed in suspected dog attack in Hollymount

Edwin McGreal

Eight sheep were viciously killed in Hollymount this week in what is suspected to have been a dog attack.
Seven ewes were drowned, believed to have been chased into a drain, while three more were found badly savaged. One of them had to be put down subsequently and the farmer, Patsy Colleran, is currently keeping a close eye on the other two. Two more sheep were also attacked but their injuries are relatively minor.
Patsy Colleran was checking in on and feeding his herd of 35 sheep on a rented holding in Lahinch, Hollymount on Tuesday afternoon last and was immediately concerned when only 22 of them came to him for feed.
“They were black with dirt and were in an agitated state, I knew something was up,” he told The Mayo News. “I found another behind a shed unable to get up and was badly cut on its tail and on its neck. I knew by the cuts that it had all the hallmarks of a large dog,” he said.
His worst fears became apparent when he went to a drain, suspecting sheep had been driven into it. There he found seven sheep. One was still alive and he pulled her out but she died half an hour later. He found other sheep badly savaged on land and one of them had to be put down.
He’s facing a significant financial cost and is also worried about how well the surviving ewes will lamb in the springtime after the trauma of the event.
Gardaí were called but The Mayo News understands no prosecutions are likely. Patsy Colleran said that the control of dogs is a huge problem in rural Mayo.
“No one is declaring ownership of dogs. They should all have to be microchipped and while that won’t solve the problem completely, it would help,” he said.

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