Dog attacks on livestock is a “deepening issue” said Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) president Francie Gorman at the launch of the associations’s 'no dogs allowed' campaign on Wednesday.

Despite the first campaign being launched in 2021 and continuous appeals for action, both the Government and local authorities have failed to address the issue, the IFA president said.

He said that it is “unacceptable” and that a “lack of robust enforcement of the legal obligations on dog owners” has allowed these attacks to persist.

The IFA is demanding “stronger regulations and stricter enforcement for those who disregard the safety and wellbeing of our stock”.

Not far enough

Speaking on the regulations announced by Minister for Rural Development Heather Humphreys in November, IFA national sheep chair Adrian Gallagher said that it was a “step in the right direction”, but “does not go far enough to protect livestock from dog attacks”.

Stricter regulations and increased enforcement on the ground to tackle the issue of irresponsible dog ownership was another measure proposed by the working group of control of dogs.

Gallagher said that the IFA has “consistently called for appropriate sanctions” and for the development of a national database identifying dogs and their owners.

Gallagher said that all dogs in the country “should be microchipped, registered to the owner and licensed” in order to establish a national database for all dogs and the person responsible for the dog.

He called for “increased sanctions” to ensure that dog owners understand their responsibilities and the consequences of failing to fulfil them.


The working group of control of dogs advised increased resources in order for dog owners who are liable for damages associated with livestock to be sanctioned, along with providing stronger powers of enforcement for dog wardens and gardaí.

With lambing in full swing at this time of year, Gallagher reminded dog owners that they are “fully liable” for any damages caused to farmers and their livestock and that “dogs found on our land can be shot”.

The IFA will participate in a new dog control stakeholder group aimed at addressing dog control issues in the coming weeks.