Dog kills seven ewes in three nights
Seven dead sheep in three nights, and Tapora farmer Julie Cotton says the attacks will just keep on coming.
For the last three mornings, she has been woken up to scenes of slaughter at her Burma Rd sheep farm in the Rodney District.
A suspected stray dog has been stalking into the property at night, and killing ewes.
‘‘We’ve had seven dead ewes since Saturday, and four more that look like they’re going to die. We’re lambing too, so once mother dies, you’ve got all the orphaned lambs,’’ Cotton said.
‘‘It’s entirely likely we will wake up tomorrow and have more fatalities.’’
As well as costing the Cottons their livestock, the ‘‘woeful, vicious’’ attacks aren’t pretty to deal with.
‘‘Sometimes they die instantly from their wounds, and others die slow, horrible, painful deaths,’’ she said.
‘‘The problem is, once these dogs get a taste for it, they will not stop. They will keep going.’’
Cotton suspects the dog to be a stray, as farmers tend to be more responsible with their dogs.
If she sees the offending dog on the property, Cotton won’t hesitate to shoot it, but says the problem is knowing where to look on the 1500 acre property.
Cotton says the number of animals that get dumped in rural areas is ‘‘phenomenal’’.
The Cottons have lost seven ewes to a dog attacks, and expect more fatalities to come.