At Sliabh Liag, the highest accessible seacliffs in Europe, standing 1,972 feet, visitors must ALWAYS keep their dog on a lead.
The sheep there are free to wander the area and some of that area, by definition, is made up of steep cliff edges. The above photograph shows how near to the edge they can wander. Inches beyond where that young sheep is skipping along is a huge drop straight on to the rocks and ocean below.
Sheep are easily spooked and a dog running around, even when it is not chasing them, can cause panic.
When sheep panic, they run.
Panicking sheep will run. Just one sheep panicking will set off the others who run scattering around the place. Those in lamb may abort their lambs.
All will run to escape their percieved fear of a dog.
Some way too close to the edge.
And unfortuately some slip and fall almost 2,000 feet to their almost guaranteed death.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE WORST OF IT! ...
WHAT COULD BE WORSE YOU ASK?
The very worst of your dog being off-lead and spooking sheep at Sliabh Liag is the number of sheep and lambs that slip off the edge, not to their death, but who survive the fall and land on rocks below.
They are almost certainly in agony and will remain that way, abandoned on a cold rocky ground with no hope of resuce.
And there, after days of fear and agony, they will eventually die either from their injuries or from starvation.
SO KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAD!
We Love Donegal
We Love Donegal is a site dedicated to bring the beauty of County Donegal on the north west coast of Ireland to the world.