ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has said the Department of Agriculture must show greater flexibility around sheep inspections during the busy lambing months. “There are welfare issues when it comes to moving heavy in-lamb or recently lambed ewes; they do not need to be subjected to unnecessary stress,” he said.
“As sheep farmers we are on duty twenty-four hours a day at this time of year. Inspections can pile the pressure on and unless they are absolutely necessary, they should be carried out in the quieter months.”
Mr McNamara also reminded dog owners not to become complacent when it comes to knowing where their pets are at all times. “Every lambing season we see the same carnage caused by dogs around the country. Any dog can cause mayhem with livestock if they are allowed to roam free. I cannot stress enough how important it is for dog owners to be extra vigilant, particularly at this time of year. Attacks on sheep and lambs are utterly preventable with responsible dog ownership.”