Wild dogs continue to attack sheep
CRAIG Johnson has been sick with grief over the loss of almost half his herd of sheep to wild dogs at the weekend.
Of the six miniature dorper sheep attacked, five were in lamb, Mr Johnson said.
All of them were pets, each with their own name and place in the small herd of 13.
Clearly still distressed by the savage attack yesterday, Mr Johnson said it appeared the dogs had dug a hole under a fence at the back of his 3.6ha Braunstone property.
“We spent $3000 on dog-proof fencing to stop our six Rhodesian Ridgebacks getting out and this is what we get,” he said. “I'm just gutted.”
Mr Johnson's immediate neighbour, Cheryl James, said she had seen four wild dogs rounding up her cattle about three weeks ago and had heard them howling or barking at night in the state forest across the road ever since.
“There was two black and tan dogs and two ginger – all of them an average dog size – they were charging them (the cattle) and scaring them ... I yelled and they left,” she said.
“At first I didn't realise they were wild, I thought they were owned by someone but after speaking to people I realised they must be wild.”
Ms James said she spoke to the Livestock Health and Pest Authority on Friday about the dogs but unfortunately nothing was done in time to save Mr Johnson's sheep.
She said the authority had told her yesterday some action would be taken about the dogs in the near future, in conjunction with state forests.
The Examiner was unable to contact a Lifestock Health and Pest Authority spokesperson yesterday.
Aside from the financial loss of some $3000 worth of livestock, Mr Johnson is lamenting the years of work he and his wife Dimity had put into their breeding project – the sheep taken were the smallest and therefore the best of the bunch.
“One of them was the first one we bred which was truly what I wanted,” he said. “We are trying to shrink the breed with proper shapes ... we are going for the small acreage/pet farm market.”
Mrs Johnson described the miniature dorpers as “eco-lawn mowers” which could be handled by smaller framed or aged people.
Mr Johnson said he was also upset about the waste of the attack, with the sheep simply killed and left, rather than eaten by hungry animals.
“You know if four hungry dogs turned up to my place, I would feed them,” he said.