IFA Sean Dennehy said Garda statistics showing nearly 50 dog attacks on sheep since March proves that dog owners continue to act in an irresponsible manner.
“These statistics highlight two clear issues – irresponsible dog ownership and the magnitude of the problem of dog attacks on sheep”.
Despite repeated appeals, he said dog owners refuse to take responsibility for their pets. “IFA has a detailed protocol on this issue. Farmers are fed up with the casual approach of some dog owners who will not accept the damage their pets can inflict on sheep,” he said.
“While we encourage flock owners to report attacks, this may not even be the full picture. The injuries inflicted on sheep are horrific and farmers may be too upset or traumatised to report to the Gardaí what has happened,” he said.
Sean Dennehy reminded dog owners that sheep farmers are entitled under law to defend their livestock and if their flock is threatened, the law does allow them to shoot the dog.
IFA has repeatedly asked the Government to put serious resources into a single database on microchipping and an adequate dog warden service, but it hasn’t happened.
“We will be making fresh proposal to the new Government and expect to see some action in this area” he said.