Dog owners have been urged to keep their pets under control following a number of incidents where sheep have been attacked. 

Gardaí say they have received reports of 50 attacks on livestock since March. 

In one incident in Co Leitrim, a dog attacked seven sheep on a farm.

The dog's owner was traced and had to pay damages to the farmer. The dog was was put to sleep. 

In another incident in Co Meath, a farmer shot two dogs after they had killed six sheep and injured two more. 

Garda Inspector James White said dog owners can be held liable for damages and face prosecution if their pet attacks animals on another person's land. 

Farmers are also within their rights to shoot any animal that is worrying their livestock, he added. 

Insp White said even though dog owners know their pets as friendly and placid at home "they can cause horrific injuries to other animal".

"We would ask that everyone ensures their dog is kept under control as nobody wants to see animals being harmed."

Prosecution under Section 9 of Control of Dogs Act 1986 could result in a month in prison and/or a €600 fine.