Farm leaders call for tighter dog controls
Compulsory micro-chipping of dogs has been welcomed by the farm organisations.
Both the IFA and ICSA said the move was a positive development but had to be matched by a comprehensive central database of dog ownership and more effective dog controls.
ICSA sheep committee chairman John Brooks said the policy would help curtail sheep attacks which were an ongoing and costly problem for sheep farmers.
"Just this week we saw a situation where eight dogs were shot in Clare, having attacked a flock of sheep. No farmer wants to come out to see several ewes ripped apart by marauding dogs," Mr Brooks said.
However, the ICSA official warned that microchipping alone won't solve the problem of sheep attacks and he said "follow-up" measures would be vital.
"I'm glad to see the mention of a database, but we'd like more detail on how the regulations are going to be applied and also what the sanctions will be for those who don't comply," Mr Brooks said.
These sentiments were echoed by John Lynskey of the IFA.
He said the microchipping programme had an important role to play in promoting what he described as "responsible dog ownership."