30 March, 2016
Sheep chairman of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) John Brooks has called on all dog owners to have their dogs microchipped before the March 31st deadline. “From April 1st microchipping will become mandatory for all dogs, so now is the time to get it done to avoid any unnecessary fines”, he said.
In addition, Mr Brooks said “It is also a timely reminder for all dog owners to be vigilant to the threat their dogs pose in rural areas in light of the number of attacks on sheep. “Recently we have seen some very harrowing images of the results of sheep worrying. This is hugely distressing for any farmer to see, not to mention the monetary losses incurred.”
“Even if the sheep are not directly attacked and have no visible injuries they can die from the shock alone. There is also the possibility that some ewes will abort, which only adds to the stress and the overall cost to the farmer. It is imperative that dog owners keep their dogs on a lead at all times when walking in the countryside, especially around livestock.”
Concluding Mr Brooks said “I would encourage people to be mindful of the fact that any breed of dog can be involved in a sheep worrying episode. Even a treasured family pet can, who appears to be docile, can quickly turn aggressive given the opportunity.”