Second pit bull attack adds to calls for stricter control

A second pit bull attack inside a week in Co Kerry has intensified calls for stricter enforcement of laws for the control of dangerous dogs.

On Thursday, an unmuzzled pit bull terrier bit a cow on the nose which was grazing in a field at Clash, on the outskirts of Tralee.

The incident came four days after another pit bull savaged a pet husky dog, called Neeko, in a park at Shanakill, on the other side of Tralee. In that incident, the pit bull was put down. The seven-month-old husky sustained a number of injuries but is recovering after veterinary treatment.

Kerry chairman of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA), Sean Brosnan yesterday said there was increasing concern about dangers posed by pitbull-type dogs roaming around and not being properly controlled.

“The cow was probably defending her calf and, if anyone had possibly tried to stop the dog, they might not have succeeded,” he said.

“All this comes back to the dog owners who must be responsible. It’s a very worrying situation for everybody. The Dogs Act needs to be enforced. Often, a dog will have left the scene when an attack is discovered and it can be very difficult to identify them for that reason,” he said.

Mr Brosnan also suggested there should be greater implementation of the legislation regarding a register of dogs designated for special control; a better identification system and more expensive licences.

Gardaí and Kerry County Council are investigating the latest attack and are believed to have identified the dog owner. The cow was not seriously injured.

Also, on Thursday, a number of people, who said they saw three pit bull terriers in the Oakpark area of Tralee, contacted the authorities.

Eleven specified dog breeds, including pitbulls, rottweilers and alsatians, are subject to strict regulations under the Dogs Act 1998. Such breeds must be kept on a strong lead by a person age over 16 years; must be muzzled when in public and have a collar with the owner’s name and address.

Separately, all dogs were recently banned from Carrantuohill, Ireland’s highest mountain, in a joint move by landowners and South Kerry Development Partnership.

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