Michael Glennon, Roscommon IFA Sheep Chairperson, says much stronger action is required to address the dreadful problem of marauding dog attacks on sheep flocks.
He said with the darker evenings and nights at this time of year, dog attacks increase. He noted that recent cases have been reported around the country.
According to Mr. Glennon, some of these attacks are vicious, with defenceless sheep flocks savaged by marauding dogs inflicting terrible suffering and pain and in many cases death on the sheep.
Mr. Glennon said dog owners need to take a much more active and responsible approach towards ownership and towards ensuring that their pets are under control at all times.
He warned: “Owners can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences. Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock”.
Mr. Glennon said that 85% of dogs are now micro-chipped, according to the Department of Agriculture. He said a single database must be introduced with controls on change of ownership so that all owners are held accountable.
“To make micro-chipping effective, Minister Creed must pull together a single database and proper controls on ownership”.
He also encouraged all dog owners, including farmers, to make sure to get their dogs micro-chipped.
Mr. Glennon 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.