Dog owners must be vigilant in countryside
National Sheep Chairman Sean Dennehy has called on walkers in the
countryside to make sure they have their dogs on a lead at all times. He
Easter is a busy time and there will be a large influx of walkers in
the countryside, many with dogs.
and dog owners must be aware that Easter is a very busy time on farms
with lambing and calving and there is no place for uncontrolled dogs
roaming through fields of sheep or cattle,” Sean Dennehy said.
allowing dogs off the lead to run wild in the countryside, where there
are ewes and young lambs, can create mayhem leading to mismothering
and significant lamb losses. The message to walkers is clear: be
responsible - keep you dog on a lead and under control at all times.
can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks, with
serious financial and legal consequences. Farmers have a right to
their sheep flock and can shoot a dog that is worrying, or about to
worry, their flock.”
Dennehy encouraged all dog owners, including farmers, to get their dogs
microchipped. According to the Department of Agriculture., 85% of dogs
are now microchipped.
Dennehy said a single database must be introduced with controls on
change of ownership so all owners are held accountable, “To make
effective, Minister Creed must pull together a single database to
properly control ownership. Greater resources are also needed for the
dog warden service.”
called on Minister Creed and the Department of Agriculture to launch a
major publicity campaign on responsible ownership. He said a major TV,
radio and social media campaign is required to get the message across
to the 800,000 people with dogs in Ireland.
collated by IFA indicate that the problem of dog attacks on sheep may
be in the order of 300 to 400 attacks per annum, with 3,000 to
4,000 sheep injured and killed. Data on dog attacks gathered by the IFA
shows an average of 11 sheep killed or injured per attack.
has a protocol to help farmers who encounter a dog attack on their
sheep flock. It involves an easy-to-follow, 10-point Plan of Action
what a farmer should do following a dog attack or sheep kill.
IFA Protocol deals with what a farmer should do if they have a dog
attack on their flock and also outlines important aspects of the law and
how the dog warden service and the Garda can help. It also sets out how
to keep a full record of the attack, which can be used as evidence at a