Farmers form vigilante groups in Larne

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Farmers across East Antrim were forming vigilante groups and adopting a ‘kill on sight’ policy in October 1980.

This came after flocks of sheep were being attacked by packs of marauding dogs over a two-week period.

As the number of attacks increased, farmers banded together to form vigilante groups to protect their sheep. The farmers had killed two dogs at the time of writing.

In all, 26 sheep were killed, 65 had been mauled and six had to be put down. This amounted to a loss of thousands of pounds.

Five sheep were found dead at a farm on the Ballyrickard Road, with one other sheep injured. The owner of the livestock, Wilson Lyle, said that he had lost around £200 through the incident.

“It’s the first time anything like this has happened to me. I’ve never taken any precautions to protect my animals before, but I think I will have to,” he said.

It was reported some farmers were planing to put poison down to kill the dogs, while others were waiting up all night to try and protect their flocks if the dogs came onto their property. Farmers were left counting the cost, with some losing hundreds of pounds worth of sheep.