Poll: Tell us your thoughts about dog walking in rural areas

The issue of dogs roaming in rural areas and consistent dog attacks on sheep and livestock is an ongoing matter.

Recently farm organisations have moved to take a more formal stand against dogs being allowed to roam on farm land without due control by dog owners or walkers, and some have placed signs on gates and entry points to property, refusing entry to dogs.

Dog attacks and sheep worrying

Lambing season occurs during January/February and according to An Garda Síochána, results in around 400 incidents per annum with 3,000 to 4,000 sheep being killed.

Dog owners must have a licence and keep the dog under effective control outside the house or premises.

Earlier this week a Fianna Fáil senator joined political calls for action in relation to dog attacks on sheep, saying that “harsher consequences” are needed for the dog owners involved.

Senator Erin McGreehan also called for more responsibility on the part of the state in the area of dogs, dog ownership and the control of dogs.

National bodies have also called on walkers not to take their dogs onto the hills.

Local authorities can issue bye-laws for the control of dogs.

While each local authority may differ slightly, a guideline penalty for not keeping dogs under control is an on-the-spot fine of €100 payable to the local authority. Failure to pay on-the-spot fines can lead to prosecution in the district court with a maximum fine of €2,500 and/or three months in prison.

AgriLand is conducting an impromptu poll to garner the thoughts and opinions of the public about the penalties in place for not maintaining control of dogs in rural areas – see survey below.

We want to know what you think about bringing a dog for a walk in a rural area… Should it be allowed? Is it not that black and white?

Take the survey below and let us know what you think…