IFA Sheep Chairman Kevin Comiskey said stronger regulations and funding for dog control announced by Minister Humphreys is a first step in addressing this ongoing issue, but more must be done to protect livestock from dog attacks.
New regulations will see dog owners face €300 on the spot fines for failing to keep their dogs under control, coming into effect on December 1st.
Acknowledging the new regulations were a step in the right direction, Kevin Comiskey said more needs to be done to protect farmers and their livestock.
IFA had looked for a single National Database for all dogs to correlate licensing and microchipping, identifying the person responsible for the dog, and increasing the number of dog wardens on the ground. This must be provided.
Kevin Comiskey said an essential aspect of enhanced legislation will be enforcement, which will require more dog wardens on the ground as recommended in the report of the working group of control of dogs put forward to the Minister.
“It’s disappointing more of the positive measures put forward by the working group on control of dogs were not implemented. These would provide significant support to farmers in protecting their livestock,” he said.
Kevin Comiskey said the new stakeholder group announced must convene immediately and commence work on bringing forward the proposals of the working group.
He said the irresponsible behaviour of dog owners continues to lead to devastating consequences across the country.
The IFA Sheep Chairman said dogs should not be allowed near farmland and urged all dog owners to behave in a responsible way and adhere to this.