Tipperary Garda Division's Chief Superintendent Derek Smart
A Tipperary councillor has called on people to be “very, very careful” with their animals.
At a recent meeting of the Tipperary Joint Policing Committee, Cllr Ger Darcy raised concern about people hunting with lurchers in fields.
“A lot of the sheep out in the fields with young lambs are very vulnerable,” Cllr Darcy said.
“A lot of people are walking and 99% of people are very careful with their dogs, but it only takes a couple to do horrific damage,” he continued.
“Guys with lurchers out on land presumably hunting hares is a worry and sheep flocks are in danger. Some of these guys have very little regard for fencing, property, and for the concerns of farmers and landowners who would confront them on their land to know exactly what they are doing.
“We need to take a firm hand with these guys. They are not up to a lot of good,” he added.
Chief Superintendent Derek Smart said lurchers on someone’s land should be reported to the gardaí immediately.
“We can deal with these people, not only for trespassing but also for Covid breaches,” Chief Supt Smart said.
“That’s what we have done in Cahir already, where we had a number of individuals involved in this activity and they have all received Covid fines because they were beyond their 5km radius,” he said.
Tipperary IFA chairperson Imelda Walsh also said there is a “huge” number of unlicensed and non-microchipped dogs.
In reply, Chief Supt Smart said the gardaí are proactively engaging with people to ensure they have licences for their dogs and that a number of prosecutions were taken last year.