Call for new law to stamp out dog attacks on livestock

Current legislation in Scotland provides for tens of thousands of pounds in fines

 Sligo News File

Sean McNamara, Chairman, ICSA Sheep Sector Committee

ICSA sheep chair Sean McNamara has called for tougher livestock protection legislation to be introduced to combat the on-going scourge of dog attacks. “New legislation in Scotland provides for fines of up to stg£40,000. It also provides additional powers to investigate and enforce the offence of livestock worrying, which is precisely what is now needed in this country,” he said.

“This week I witnessed the aftermath of a particularly distressing incident involving cattle who fled into a bog to escape from a number of marauding dogs. These cattle became trapped in the bog water and despite the best efforts of everyone involved, not all of them could be saved. The whole episode has had a devastating impact on the farmer concerned, and all because the dog owners involved were too complacent about where their dogs were and what they were doing.

“We see year after year the problem is not going away. Campaigns aimed at raising the awareness of the need to control dogs around livestock are proving woefully inadequate. We also have a range of slap on the wrist type penalties which certainly do not act as any deterrent. It is time for our legislators to get tougher on this issue and set about legislating for the sort of fines that are commensurate with the amount of needless damage being done.”