IFA National Hill Committee Chairman, Flor McCarthy has expressed serious concern about recreational users taking their dog onto hills.
“The problem is exacerbated due to the increase of recreational users as a result of COVID-19, as many other activities are closed off,” he said.
Flor McCarthy said that while it is encouraging that people are getting out on hills and taking exercise on the various dedicated trails, IFA is reminding hillwalkers that they must have respect for farmers property and abide by the Comhairle na Tuaithe countryside code.
“This stipulates that dogs cannot be taken onto trails whether they are on a lead or not. There is an added danger at the moment as the lambing season is in full swing.”
While most people observe the code there are some who blatantly disregard it. It has also come to IFA’s attention that dogs are wandering off Coillte and National Parks trails onto private land.
The IFA hill farming leader said that people are welcome to use the dedicated and agreed walks throughout the country as this time of national crisis, provided that they observe the rules with regard to the exclusion of dogs.