Written Answers. - Sheep Flock Destruction.

Dinny McGinley

Question:

252 Mr. McGinley asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Forestry if his attention has been drawn to the widespread destruction caused to sheep flocks in south-west Donegal by maurading dogs in the last number of weeks and if he will consider introducing a compensatory scheme for those farmers who have suffered losses. [2065/96]

Reports of dog attacks on sheep flocks in Donegal have been brought to my attention. I understand that the Garda is investigating the incidents in question. I am acutely aware that dogs allowed to roam free can cause serious damage and suffering to livestock, particularly sheep and lambs. For that reason I had already appealed publicly to all dog owners earlier this year to ensure that their dogs are kept under control at all times.

There are no funds at my Department's disposal to pay the proposed compensation. The onus is on dog owners to act responsibly, and I took the opportunity of my recent appeal to draw their attention to the stiff penalties provided under the law for negligent owners.