DEAR EDITOR: We call on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, as it is his responsibility, to set up a fund to compensate farmers for sheep killed and/or injured. A fund should be set up by increasing the dog licence fee, which is collected by An Post and could be administered by An Post, so as to avoid inter-agency red tape and bureaucracy.

A certificate from the farmer’s vet confirming the sheep were victims of a dog attack should be sufficient proof. Our argument is based on the motor insurance industry, which has a levy on every customer insured to cover for uninsured drivers.

Also, there is a levy on cement to deal with the pyrite issue. Thirdly, businesses that were flooded last year got financial support from the Government.

A levy is also collected countrywide from the property tax. We agree with and support these levies to compensate people affected.

The INHFA seems to be the only body which speaks up on behalf of farmers on this matter.

Each mart where sheep are traded should encourage sheep farmers to sign a petition with the name and flock number and it should be collected and forwarded to the Minister for Agriculture.

Countrywide problem

We appreciate and want to thank councillor Fionnán Fitzgerald, and other council members of and Kerry County Council for their efforts in trying to address this countrywide problem. The farming organisations seem to be silent on this countrywide problem.

Also, we hear nothing from animal rights activists who are so vocal on other issues regarding animal welfare. Why?

In my case, this is the loss to me: a breeding ram (€400), two ewes (€400) and disposal of dead animals (€100) and a potential loss of two lambs in 2024, totalling €1,100.

We believe that there is a general election in the not-too-distant future. Every farmer who has sheep should make it an election issue with mainstream parties and independents. Why waste your vote?

Minister McConalogue should make an order that owners of dogs that worry or kill sheep be banned from owning a dog for life.

Finally, we ask dog owners who visit Ballincollig hill windfarm to keep dogs on a leash at all times.

The ultimate responsibility lies with Minister McConalogue to put in place a fund to compensate farmers.