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Responsible Dog Ownership

January 19th, 2023

The ISPCA are asking pet owners to be responsible and ensure the welfare of the dogs, sheep and vulnerable lambs are always protected.

Walking your dog outdoors in the countryside is a great way to keep fit. However, the ISPCA is highlighting the importance of keeping all dogs on a lead and under effective control both day and night.

A dog’s instinct can be to chase, and even the most docile, well-behaved dog may take part in pack behaviour. At this time of year, pregnant ewes can be injured in a panic to escape from chasing dogs, often miscarrying their lambs. Or worse, they are fatally injured causing serious suffering and damage and devastation to farmers. Under the Control of Dogs Act 1986, as amended by the Control of Dogs Act 1992, it is an offence not to have your dog under effectual control and local authorities are responsible for enforcing the control of dog’s acts.

Sheep that try to escape from dogs are often very seriously injured or killed during their panicked attempts to escape, also causing damage to fences and field boundaries.

The farming community see horrific dog attacks to their flock which cause harm to sheep, pregnant ewes and lambs, and cause huge difficulty to farmers during lambing season from January through the Spring.

Please remember that this is a farmers’ place of work and that their livestock is their livelihood.

In certain circumstances, farmers may be legally entitled to shoot dogs if they are endangering livestock on their property so if you live or walk near a sheep farm, you must ensure your dog is under control and cannot escape from your property at any time.

The ISPCA is also reminding dog owners that it is a legal requirement that all dogs are microchipped and puppies once they are 12 weeks of age. 

It is important dogs are also vaccinated and neutered/spayed which are key components to responsible pet ownership.

If you do see a dog that appears to be a stray, please report it to your local Dog Warden or in the case of an emergency, please contact your local Garda Station.

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