Alliance Strangford Assembly candidate and Ards and North Down Councillor Kellie Armstrong is appalled by the death of eleven sheep drowned in Strangford Lough after being terrorised from their grazing ground on Salt Island and at Green Island.
Councillor Kellie Armstrong said: “It is feared that a stray dog or dogs worried the sheep to the extent they fled into the water to escape.
“The National Farmers Union (NFU) advises dog walkers to keep dogs under close control or on a lead when walking in the countryside where there may be livestock.
“I urge all dog owners to ensure their animals cannot stray onto farmland where cattle or sheep may be grazing. Everyone may think their pet could not cause such catastrophic harm but even the friendliest of dogs could worry sheep or cattle, especially at this time of year when its lambing and calving season”.
Kellie Armstrong added: “So far eleven carcasses have been washed up on the Ards Peninsula between Blackboat Bay and Marfield, Portaferry”.
The farmer arrived to the area on 12 March to recover the drowned animals with assistance from the Portaferry Coastguard Team. It is unclear at this time if all the sheep have been accounted for.
Portaferry Coastguard Station Officer John Austin commented: “If any member of the public locates any further animals please contact HM Coastguard by calling 028 9146 3933“.
If anyone sees further attacks on sheep by dogs, please contact the police on 101.