The IFA has reiterated its calls for stricter enforcement of dog ownership rules and for the introduction of harsher penalties for pet owners whose dogs worry or attack livestock.

It said that its ‘no dogs allowed’ campaign will remain in place until the Government enacts legislation that sees the number of attacks fall.

The campaign began in 2021, but the IFA says the sheep attack situation has worsened since, prompting its continuation of the initiative.

The calls for more action in the area of dog control come as lambing begins to get underway, leaving sheep particularly vulnerable to attacks and worrying incidents.

“The level of sanctions that can be applied do not reflect the savagery and trauma these uncontrolled dogs are causing,” IFA president Tim Cullinan commented.

“The absence of a centralised database to identify ownership and those responsible for the dogs, and the lack of enforcement of microchipping, are all contributing to this persistent and escalating problem.”

Cullinan pointed out the disparity that exists between farmer livestock traceability requirements and the number of dogs in the State which have not been licensed.

The latest report on dog licence numbers shows that only 192,348 dogs are licensed out of an estimated 800,000, leaving around three-quarters of all dogs unidentifiable to authorities.