Lambs to the slaughter - Farmer's fury as domestic dogs massacre flock

DOMESTIC dogs are thought to be responsible for a gruesome attack on a flock of lambs at a Currabubula property at the weekend – the second such massacre in six weeks.

DOG DAYS: Currabubula farmer Lachlan Bruyn believes domestic dogs are responsible for the massacre of 40 of his lambs in recent weeks. Photo: Barry Smith 060514BSD02

DOG DAYS: Currabubula farmer Lachlan Bruyn believes domestic dogs are responsible for the massacre of 40 of his lambs in recent weeks. Photo: Barry Smith 060514BSD02

Owner Lachlan Bruyn made the grisly discovery on Saturday, with 20 of his lambs mauled to death and a number of others seriously injured.

It came just weeks after a similar number were killed in identical fashion at the property.

Mr Bruyn said the attacks had cost him up to $10,000 in lost livestock and has called for dog owners on surrounding properties to take more responsibility for their pets.

“It’s in their nature to do this sort of thing and if they’re not locked up, they will continue to do it,” Mr Bruyn said.

“They start off chasing them but once they get them and kill them, they get a taste for it.

“The $10,000 it has cost hurts but seeing the animals suffer hurts me the most.

“People just need to be more responsible.”

Mr Bruyn has notified police and the LLS and has also laid dog baits around his property.

Property owners are within their rights to shoot domestic dogs on their properties if they are attacking livestock, Tamworth Regional Council  environment and health manager Ross Briggs said.

“They can take steps to protect their livestock and that can involve shooting the dogs,” he said.

“They need to take all proper care to make kills humane and quick.”

North West LLS biosecurity officer Greg Lumber said attacks on stock from both wild and domestic dogs were a “major issue” in the region.

“It’s a significant pest problem for us and a major concern for our ratepayers,” Mr Lumber said.

“The most important thing is that it’s reported to us.

“We use baiting first and if the problem continues, we use trapping.

“The onus is on dog owners to ensure dogs are tied up.”

Domestic dog attacks come under the jurisdiction of the Companion Animals Act and are policed by council rangers.

* Dog owners must bear responsibility: editorial

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