Attacks on lambs prompt petition to beef up dog control laws

There have been multiple attacks on stock in Hawke's Bay.
There have been multiple attacks on stock in Hawke's Bay. Photo credit: Unsplash

A Hawke's Bay farming couple is planning to launch a campaign to get dog control laws beefed up after continued attacks on their stock.

Colin and Denise Davis have lost more than 100 lambs, worth an estimated $20,000 in total, in five dog attacks over the past two months.

The couple lease multiple pieces of land in the Hastings area, and have even resorted to sleeping on some properties, taking turns to patrol the area for dogs.

Denise Davis said the maulings on the stock have been devastating, and have taken an emotional toll on the couple.

Six sheep were attacked and killed near Hastings, and another 28 were found dead on other nearby properties in the first series of attacks this month.
Six sheep were attacked and killed near Hastings, and another 28 were found dead on other nearby properties in the first series of attacks this month. Photo credit: Supplied/Sue Dixon

"For these animals to have suffered these horrific attacks, it's appalling," she said. 

 

The surviving stock have been left traumatised and might never fully recover.

 

"They've gone backwards, they've lost weight - they're not roaming in the paddock and not eating freely. They're always alert and looking around instead of being relaxed animals."

Davis said while local animal control have done everything they can to try and catch the dogs responsible, the law needs to be changed.

"Dog control have been wonderful, they've been out with us and located a couple of the dogs. They are doing their very best."

She wants the law tightened up and plans to launch an online petition to raise awareness of what dogs can do when they stray.

"We have to make sure that people are responsible, that they are accountable."

She said liability laws also weren't working.

"If an owner is prosecuted and fined, that money goes to the council - not to the farmer."

She wants animal control authorities to be given more powers.

"We need dogs to be microchipped so there is traceability and we have a record of what these dogs are up to, and probably owners should be licensed if they are keeping aggressive dogs."

The attacks had been a blow for the couple after a tough year.

 "We had an Autumn drought in Hawke's Bay, we've been struck with facial eczema and had some drench resistance."

The couple were also disappointed that no one had come forward to take responsibility for the maulings.

"We've had five attacks, and we know of two others, but no one has put their hand up and said sorry.

"The owners must know, these dogs would be plastered in blood."

 Newshub.

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