Following a number of dog attacks on sheep this week, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) sheep chair Adrian Gallagher has highlighted the urgent need for intervention to address the escalating issue of dog attacks on livestock.

The attacks that occurred in Roscommon, Sligo and Tipperary this week resulted in significant losses for the affected farmers, the IFA said.

Gallagher said these are not isolated incidents, but are part of a concerning trend that continues to devastate sheep farmers nationwide.

The IFA has continuously called for a centralised database for all dogs correlating licensing and microchipping to identify the owner of the dog and to increase the number of dog wardens on the ground, but this hasn’t happened.

Gallagher said the lack of robust enforcement of existing laws continues to allow dogs to run riot on farms across the country.

The Government and various State agencies with responsibilities in this area have failed to put appropriate sanctions in place to deal with irresponsible dog ownership and it's unacceptable, he maintained.

Urgent need

Adrian said farmers are losing patience with the authority’s inactive response on the issue and said there is urgent need to strengthen legislation by implementing the necessary controls to tackle the issue of irresponsible dog ownership immediately.

He said it is time the authorities step up and recognise the gravity of the situation and take immediate and decisive action to address the issue.

Dog owners are being reminded that they should take heed that they are fully liable for any damages caused to sheep by their dogs.

The IFA sheep chair said dogs are not allowed in or near farmland and stressed the need for responsible conduct among dog owners to ensure the safety of farmers' livestock.

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