There has to be a cultural change among dog owners about how they approach farmland and what they think is acceptable, Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) sheep chair Kevin Comiskey has said.

He said the stronger regulations on dog controls that will go before cabinet this Tuesday will go some way to address the growing problem of dog attacks on livestock.

“[The] IFA had looked for a centralised database, larger fines and more dog wardens to enforce stricter controls.

“The authorities have been slow to bring in what was needed, but this would appear to be a step in the right direction,” he said.


Comiskey said enforcement will be key to the success of the proposed regulations.

“Far too many farmers, particularly sheep farmers, are in fear of a dog attack and the devastation it can leave. I would hope the resources are made available to bring about changes,” he said.

He said the recent incident in Wicklow would suggest there is still an issue among some recreational users when it comes to accessing farmland.

The IFA began the ‘No Dogs Allowed’ campaign in 2021. Comiskey said all dog owners should take heed that they are fully liable for all damage and suffering caused to farmers and their sheep by their dogs.

“The irresponsible behaviour of some dog owners continues to lead to devastating consequences on farms and must stop,” he said.

He said dogs should not be allowed in or near farmland and he urged all dog owners to behave in a responsible way and adhere to this.

He said the Minister must deliver the strengthened legislation as a matter of urgency and have it in effect before the end of the year.

Read more

Increased fines of €5,000 proposed for dog owners with out-of-control dogs