Louth IFA issue warning to dog owners following a number of attacks on sheep in Cooley

Louth IFA issue warning to dog owners following a number of attacks on sheep in Cooley

The Louth branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association have issued a stark warning to all dog owners in the county reminding them of their responsibility to keep their pets under control at all times.

The warning comes following a number of attacks by dogs on sheep in the Cooley Peninsula in recent weeks.

Commenting on the matter, Louth IFA chairman Gerard Melia said: “Owners can be held responsible for any losses involved in dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences.

“Farmers have a right to protect their sheep flock and can shoot a dog worrying, or about to worry their flock.”

IFA National Sheep Chairman John Lynskey said marauding dogs can inflict horrendous damage on a sheep flock.

Statistics collated by the IFA indicate that the problem of dog attacks on sheep may be in the order of 300 to 400 attacks each year, with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep injured and killed. Data on dog attacks gathered by the IFA shows an average of 11 sheep killed or injured per attack.

“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.”

Mr Lynskey also reminded dog owners that they have an obligation to keep their pets under control at all times and can be held responsible for losses involved in dog attacks, with serious financial and legal consequences.

He also reminded all dog owners, including farmers, that it is a legal requirement that they microchip and register their dogs. Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, all dogs must be microchipped and registered on an authorised database since March 31st 2016.

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