Dog microchipping rules to be reviewed as attacks on sheep continue
The Department of Agriculture is set to under take a review of the legislation surrounding the microchipping of dogs as attacks on sheep continue to be reported by farmers.
Just last week, 16 sheep were killed in a dog attack on a farm in Louth and statistics recently collated by Irish Farmers Association (IFA) indicate that the problem of dog attacks on sheep may be in the order of 300 to 400 attacks per annum, with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep injured and killed.
Data on dog attacks gathered by the IFA shows an average of 11 sheep killed or injured per attack.
The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that a review will take place and that it will take account of experience gained through microchipping over the past two years.
Under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013, introduced by the then Minister Simon Coveney, all dogs must be microchipped and registered on an authorised database since March 31, 2016.
The Department has said the key focus to date, in the time the system has been operating, has been to educate and promote the highest possible uptake of microchipping by dog owners.
“A number of initiatives, both public and private, have assisted in facilitating increased uptake. Feedback from databases indicates a very high level of compliance,” it said.
Responding to FarmIreland.ie on the review the Department also said that the primary legislation in the area of sheep worrying is the Control of Dogs Act 1986, which it says gives considerable scope to farmer’s to take steps to protect their livestock from dogs and added that this remains unchanged.