The current fine of €2,500 in place for the owners of dogs which attack livestock may be doubled to €5,000, according to Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys.

“I have asked my officials to review the regulations around the punishment for those who allow their dogs to get out of control and attack sheep.

“I’m meeting the IFA in the next couple of weeks to discuss it further.

“The current fine is €2,500 and I’m certainly looking at doubling that fine and taking any other measures that I can to stop that.

“It’s wrong, it shouldn’t be happening and I am determined I’m going to stop this,” she said.

‘Taken to task’

These dog owners need to be “taken to task”, she added.

However, Limerick IFA county chair Seán Lavery doesn’t believe that anyone has received the €2,500 fine yet.

“It would be a good enough fine if there was adequate enforcement around it,” he said.