Addressing the issues recently, IFA National Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey said: “All dog owners should take heed that they are fully liable for all damage and suffering caused to farmers and their sheep by their dogs. The irresponsible behaviour of some dog owners continues to lead to devastating consequences on farms and must stop”.
Roscommon SPCA is once again urging all owners to beware of their dog’s whereabouts and ensure they are properly restrained when next to or near livestock.
A RSPCA statement read: “Under the Control of Dogs Act; the owner of a dog is liable for any damage done to a farmer’s livestock. It is also extremely important to note that Section 23 of this act also defends the right of a farmer to shoot a dog if it is worrying their livestock.
“But this will be of little comfort to a farmer who has had their flock savaged and their income decimated. Not to mention the upset and cost for the dog owner involved. Dog owners must be responsible for their dogs at all times and responsible dog ownership begins with the laws that govern it. The Control of Dogs Act prohibits anyone from owning a dog unless they hold a license for that dog and that dog is micro-chipped. Failure to do so can result in fines of up to €2,500”.
Roscommon SPCA says volunteers have seen a large increase in reports of straying dogs in recent weeks, adding that very few of these dogs had been micro-chipped and those that were weren’t registered.
The statement continued: “In light of this, Roscommon SPCA in conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, are offering a 50 per cent discount on micro-chipping for County Roscommon dog owners (ID and proof of address will be required). Contact Brigid on 087-0505594 with your name, phone number, Eircode and the details of the vet you currently use, and the volunteers of Roscommon SPCA will be happy to assist you in registering and microchipping your pet”.