Farmers fear that the new working arrangements arising from the government’s latest announcement will add to the problem of dog attacks on livestock.
That is according to IFA sheep chairman Sean Dennehy, who called on Minister Charlie McConalogue to implement necessary controls “as a matter of urgency” to tackle irresponsible dog ownership.
Problem of dog attacks
“We know that dog ownership increased during lockdown. Also, we know that some people took on pets without realising the responsibilities that go with that.”
“As people move about more freely, and some travel to work for part of the week, the danger is that their pets will have too much freedom.”
He said farmers’ patience with the authorities on this issue has “run out”.
National database for all dogs
Dennehy added that the recent horrific attack in Wicklow shows the “message is not getting through to dog owners”.
“The Minister for Agriculture must advance controls and enforcements for negligent dog owners. We need a single national database for all dogs in the country that identifies the dog owner who is responsible.”
“There must be appropriate sanctions in place for those who fail to have their dog under control at all times and for those whose dogs are identified worrying or attacking livestock,” he said.
The IFA sheep chairman said the government’s and local authorities’ “lack of action” to put appropriate sanctions in place to deal with the irresponsible behaviour of dog owners is “unacceptable”.
Dennehy said the IFA’s ‘No Dogs Allowed’ campaign will continue.
It aims to highlight the damage uncontrolled dogs inflict on cattle and sheep and the urgent need for appropriate legislation to protect farmers and their livestock.
Suckler cow cap
Meanwhile, the IFA livestock committee has slammed the Department of Agriculture’s CAP strategic plan proposals.
Livestock chairman, Brendan Golden, expressed how members are “very disappointed” at the lack of ambition to provide “meaningful” support for suckler and beef farmers.
He spoke following a meeting with committee members on Friday, August 20th, 2021. The committee comprises democratically elected representatives of suckler and beef farmers from every county in the country. Read more.