IFA sheep chair Kevin Comiskey says he is losing patience with inaction over sheep kills by dogs. Speaking at an IFA sheep meeting in Enniscorthy last week, the Leitrim farmer said that he was “at the end of his tether”.

“The next time I’m looking at sheep that have been attacked and killed by dogs, I’ll load them up and bring them to the gates of Leinster House, to show politicians what is happening on sheep farms all over Ireland,” he said.

Comiskey reported how some sheep flocks have been the victim of repeated attacks, describing it as “becoming impossible” to safeguard sheep flocks near many towns. The IFA’s “No Dogs Allowed” campaign has been ongoing since early 2021.

Since 2016, the law requires all dogs to be microchipped. About 100,000 dogs are microchipped every year. The problem is, no one knows exactly how many dogs are in the country.

Estimates vary, but where farmers catch or shoot dogs that have attacked sheep, they are frequently unchipped.

The meeting also heard from Wexford dog warden Johnny Colfer. The number of dogs taken in nationally decreased significantly during 2020 and 2021. Wexford, however, had the highest number of dogs taken into pounds, over double any other county in 2020.