15th December, 2011
Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) sheep chairman, Paul Brady, has warned those thinking of giving the gift of a dog this Christmas should carefully consider the potential consequences to the farming community.
Mr. Brady was speaking on the back of recent reports of dog attacks on sheep which included two German Shepherds attacking and killing sheep in his own flock in recent days.
Mr Brady repeated the ICSA call for all dogs to be identified by means of a compulsory micro-chip. Farmers are now required to electronically identify their sheep and it seems only fair that dogs owners should do the same. “Compulsory ID won’t change the dog’s behaviour but it will change owner’s behaviour. It will make dog owners responsible and liable for keeping their dogs under control.”
“The problem has simply not gone away. Unchipped dogs are a real concern for sheep farmers. Only this weekend, two German Shepherds mauled and killed a number of sheep in my own flock. Sheep is a seriously valuable commodity and people must be fully aware of the full scale of responsibilities that goes along with having a dog, especially in rural areas,” Mr. Brady said.
“Dogs can be a menace to sheep and sheep farmers, many farmers have firsthand experience of unruly dogs terrorising their flock and nothing will change until mandatory chipping of dogs is implemented.”
“Christmas is a prime time for the giving of dogs as gifts but people must be acutely aware of the huge responsibility that lends itself to having an animal. There are too many dogs in the possession of irresponsible owners who are not prepared to look them properly. When dogs are allowed to roam freely without owners knowing where they are, then the sheep is the one that pays the ultimate price,” Mr. Brady concluded.