Dog kills seven ewes in three nights

Rodney Times - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - MATTHEW CATTIN

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.

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