Almost half of all of the on-the-spot fines issued to dog owners for out-of-control dogs were unpaid in 2022, the Irish Farmers Journal can reveal.
It comes as the Minister for Rural Development Heather Humphreys last week announced that on-the-spot fines are to increase from €100 to €300.
She also announced that a new high-level stakeholder group will be established on dog control.
The Local Authority Control of Dogs Statistics Report for 2022 shows that of the 1,684 fines issued last year, some 870 were paid.
A total of 201 fines were issued in Louth in 2022 and, of this number, 65 fines were paid. Some 260 were issued in Cork, of which 96 were paid, and 40 were issued in Meath, of which just three were paid.
There was tighter enforcement of fines in other counties. In Galway 35 out of the 36 fines were paid, while five out of the six fines issued in Clare were paid.
Interestingly, all 395 fines issued in Dublin city were paid, while in the Fingal local authority, of the 455 fines issued just 145 were paid.
Farming organisations have said that the increased fines do not go far enough and that tighter controls are needed to clampdown on dog attacks and sheep worrying.
The IFA said that the rule change only amounts to the first step needed in tackling attacks on sheep, while the INHFA said that the changes to dog control rules will do little to improve the situation sheep farmers find themselves in in relation to dog attacks.