'Tougher sanctions' sought as dog attacks cause 'savagery and trauma' on sheep farms

The IFA said its 'No Dogs Allowed' campaign will continue until "substantial progress" is made.
'Tougher sanctions' sought as dog attacks cause 'savagery and trauma' on sheep farms

The "persistent failure of authorities" has frustrated farmers who have suffered significant losses as a result of dog attacks, the Irish Farmers' Association has said.

The "persistent failure of authorities" has frustrated farmers who have suffered significant losses as a result of dog attacks, the Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has said.

Kevin Comiskey, national sheep chairman of the IFA this week led a delegation to meet Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys to put forward stronger measures that are needed to curb dog attacks.

"This is a critical issue on sheep farms," Mr Comiskey said.

"Dog attacks cause unimaginable suffering for sheep and lambs and huge economic losses for farmers."

The IFA said it has identified three priority actions to tackle the issue, one of these being the establishment of a single national database for all dogs in the country that identifies the person responsible for the dog.

The IFA is also seeking tougher sanctions for those who fail to have their dog under their control at all times, and for those whose dogs are identified as worrying/attacking livestock.

Additional resources to ensure compliance with the obligations of dog owners are also being urged.

"The level of sanctions doesn’t reflect the savagery and trauma these uncontrolled dogs are causing," Mr Comiskey said.

"The absence of a centralised database to identify ownership and those responsible for the dogs, and the lack of enforcement of microchipping, are all contributing to this ongoing and escalating problem."

Mr Comiskey said that dogs should not be allowed in or near farmland, and he urged all dog owners to behave in a responsible way and adhere to this.

The IFA said its 'No Dogs Allowed' campaign will continue until "substantial progress" is made.

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