The IFA is calling for a “get tough” Scottish style of dog control after a recent spree has seen sheep across the country killed or injured.

The Scottish model provides for fines of up to £5,000 or up to six months in jail for owners of dogs who fail to control their animals.

“This is the kind of deterrent that’s needed if we want to get serious about this issue. Unfortunately, there has been an abject failure by our authorities to put appropriate sanctions in place to deal with the irresponsible and reckless behaviour of some dog owners,” IFA sheep chair Sean Dennehy said.

He said the authorities need to focus on the issue and pointed out that even though it’s a legal requirement to have a dog microchipped and licensed in Ireland, the latest report shows only 217,261 dogs are microchipped.

This marks barely a quarter of the estimated 800,000 dogs in the country.

Dennehy said the IFA had repeatedly called for the Government to put more resources in microchipping dogs and ensuring there were adequate dog warden services but that it hadn’t happened.