Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys has launched a major national awareness campaign to remind dog owners of their responsibilities.

The campaign, entitled ‘It’s not your dog’s fault, it’s yours’, is aimed at increasing awareness of the harm that out of control dogs can do to people and to livestock.

The goal is to change behaviour and to remind owners that they must always have their dog under control.

“Being a dog owner is a privilege, but it comes with a lot of responsibilities. We have seen far too many devastating attacks by dogs on people, especially young children, in recent times.

“I know the majority of dog owners are responsible and do the right thing. But we can all be guilty of thinking our dog wouldn’t hurt a fly,” said Minister Humphreys.

“No matter how harmless a dog might seem, they can be capable of causing a lot of damage. Ultimately, as the campaign says: it’s not your dog’s fault, it’s yours. Dog owners must make sure their dog is under control at all times, not running wild endangering people, livestock or other dogs,” she added.

– Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys with retired Deputy Garda Commissioner John Twomey, chair of the Dog Control Stakeholder Group.

This campaign follows closely from a series of related initiatives:

  • Increases in on-the-spot fines up to €300
  • An additional €2 million to support dog pounds
  • The establishment of the Dog Control Stakeholder Group.

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue also welcomed the campaign, sharing his hope that it will encourage wider conversations on dog owner responsibilities.

He commented: “I know how traumatic dog attacks can be to people, especially children. I am also acutely aware of the devastation done to livestock by marauding dogs, causing terrible suffering to the animals and both emotional and financial distress to farming families.

“I believe it is essential we have conversations about responsible dog ownership and illustrating the dangers of marauding dogs, protecting people and animals from dog attacks.”

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