Dogs may be responsible for killing seal pups at Dublin Bay

Grey seals pupping within Dublin Bay biosphere reserve are not safe from unruly pets.

Grey seal pups have been victims of predation on Bull Island. © Dan Kitwood / Getty
Grey seal pups have been victims of predation on Bull Island. © Dan Kitwood / Getty

Dogs are being allowed to harass grey seals on Bull Island in Dublin Bay, and may be responsible for killing at least two pups this year, conservationists say.

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The Irish Seal Sanctuary – a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre – has called on the authorities to ban dogs from the island, which is connected to Dublin by two causeways, until the end of the breeding season in November.

“Probably 90 per cent of people put their dogs on a lead and walk elsewhere [away from the seals],” said the sanctuary’s Brendan Price.

“But some people have huskies and rottweilers, and they let them have a good chase and don’t think they are doing any harm.”

Price added that the two pups found dead this year had both clearly been predated, though it was impossible to say with absolute certainty that dogs had been responsible.

“Adult seals are being chased into the water on a daily basis,” he said.

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