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HomeFarming NewsA dog for Christmas should be given careful consideration
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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A dog for Christmas should be given careful consideration

People who are considering a dog for Christmas should think carefully about the decision.

That is according to IFA sheep chairman Sean Dennehy, who stressed the biggest problem with dog attacks on sheep is the absence of responsibility among some dog owners.

“Anybody looking into a household pet should ask themselves if they are prepared to devote the time that’s needed to give a dog proper exercise under strict control.”

Dennehy was part of an IFA delegation that met Heritage Minister Malcolm Noonan yesterday. Attendees raised the issue of dog attacks on sheep.

“We raised the enforcement of existing regulations on dog control, including microchipping. Minister Noonan agreed to initiate engagements with the relevant agencies with a view to strengthening controls for dog ownership and better enforcement of existing obligations on owners.”

Dog attacks on sheep

Also, Dennehy said dog attacks remain a significant problem and can lead to devastation for farmers whose sheep suffer an attack.

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“Unfortunately, I am taking calls on a frequent basis from sheep farmers around the country who have suffered attacks.”

“There are far too many dog owners not taking the responsibility that goes with owning a pet. Dog owners have an obligation to have their dog under control at all times.”

He warned dog owners, who do not have their dog under control at all times, must realise they could be held responsible for such attacks. These include serious financial and legal consequences.

Dennehy said there must be:

  • Better enforcement of existing legislation around dog ownership;
  • More stringent fines for dog attacks;
  • Increased funding for the dog warden service;
  • A single database for microchipped dogs.

“All farm animals are fully traceable and so should dogs.” he concluded.

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