The IFA recently met with officials from Coillte, the commercial forestry company owned by the Irish state, to discuss the ongoing dog control issues for Dublin sheep farmers.
The discussion was focused on issues arising in forestry areas of the Dublin Mountains. The IFA National Sheep Chairman, Sean Dennehy, was joined by a number of sheep farmers from the Dublin area to discuss the problems facing them. The IFA delegation included Dublin IFA Chairman, Philip Maguire, and sheep farmers, Richie Ryan and Donie Anderson, from the Bohernabreena branch of Dublin IFA.
Mr. Dennehy confirmed that both the IFA and Coillte have agreed following discussions to work together and help reduce the number of flocks being attacked by dogs.
“IFA and Coillte have agreed to work together to encourage responsible dog ownership and reduce the attacks on sheep flocks in the Dublin Mountain area”. Dennehy noted.
Sean Dennehy said the IFA made it very clear to Coillte during discussions, that a lot more would have to be done to educate walkers who let their dogs loose on forest walks, leading to sheep on adjoining farms being attacked and hunted down. He said some farmers are having to endure repeated sheep attacks from dogs allowed to run off the lead.
Mr Dennehy said dog owners should be required to keep their dogs under effective control at all times. He confirmed that Coillte have agreed to increase the signage informing dog owners of their responsibilities and the need to keep their dogs under control at all times.
Following discussions, Coillte also agreed to highlight responsible dog ownership at access points for walkers and improve fencing where necessary.