IFA National Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey led a delegation to meet Minister Heather Humphreys yesterday afternoon to put forward stronger measures that are needed to curb dog attacks.
Kevin Comiskey said the persistent failure of the authorities has frustrated farmers who have suffered significant losses as a result of dog attacks.
Kevin Comiskey said there was a constructive discussion with Minister Humphreys, who understands the issues and is committed to addressing farmer concerns.
“This is a critical issue on sheep farms. Dog attacks cause unimaginable suffering for sheep and lambs and huge economic losses for farmers,” he said.
IFA has three priority actions to tackle the issue. They are:
- A single national database for all dogs in the country that identifies the person responsible for the dog;
- Tougher sanctions for those who fail to have their dog under their control at all times, and for those whose dogs are identified worrying/attacking livestock;
- Additional resources to ensure compliance with the obligations of dog owners.
“The level of sanctions doesn’t reflect the savagery and trauma these uncontrolled dogs are causing. 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,” he said.
He said 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.
IFA’s ‘No Dogs Allowed’ campaign will continue until substantial progress is made.