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‘It’s not your dog’s fault’, says dog control campaign

A new national campaign to promote responsible dog ownership has been launched.

The campaign aims to highlight the harm out of control dogs can do to people and livestock and follows a number of serious attacks on adults and children that resulted in grave injuries.

The campaign will run until the end of May across radio, print and online media.

This new campaign is aimed at dog owners and its central message is: “It’s not your dog’s fault, its yours.”

It is intended to increase awareness among dog owners that their pets must always be kept under control.

Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys says there have been far too many devastating attacks by dogs on people, especially young children in recent times.

“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. I want this campaign to make people think twice about letting their dog loose and uncontrolled.”

Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue said dog attacks can be very traumatic to people, but marauding dogs can also cause terrible suffering to livestock as well as emotional and financial distress to farming families.

This latest awareness campaign comes after fines for some dog control related offences were doubled to €300 last December, along with increased powers for dog wardens to levy multiple fines, and increased funding for local authority dog pounds.

The campaign follows the recent establishment of the Dog Control Stakeholder Group. It has been tasked with making recommendations on strengthening policy and legislation around dog control and on restricting certain breeds of dogs.

The group is chaired by former garda commissioner John Twomey.

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