Far North farmer patrolling land with rifle after feral dogs maul dozens of her livestock

A Far North farmer has taken to patrolling her land with a rifle day and night in a task "akin to war" after wild dogs mauled dozens of her animals over the past week.

Wild dogs have been roaming the Far North for months now but recently, the attacks appear to have escalated.

On Anne Marie Nilsson's Waitiki (just south of Cape Reinga) farm alone, dogs have mauled 24 sheep, more than 60 lambs and 30 angora goats since Thursday.

Nilsson told The Project on Monday evening she has been picking through the carnage every morning.

"When you are doing a cleanup job afterwards it's just heart wrenching. We're farmers, we raise animals, we love our animals and we've been having to put them down because they are in no shape to stay alive basically. It's been a rough week."

She said the dogs are "not your average pet dog", they are killing for fun and are "feral as".

Instead of sleeping, Nilsson is now patrolling her land with a rifle, hoping to protect her livestock and take out any dog who sets foot there.

"I'm on vigil tonight to protect our ewes and lambs... well what's left of them," she said.

"Last night was the first time I had slept in about 40 hours and I've been up this morning and am straight back into it, into the same thing.  The mental toll is really hard, it's probably something akin to war."

The Department of Conservation (DOC) told the Project on Monday it hadn't heard about the latest attacks. 

The Far North District Council also knew nothing about them, but Nilsson said she had tried to alert them and seek help.

"I rang them [the Far North District Council] up the other day and asked what I needed to do for them to send out a dog control officer," she said.

"The lady said I can come in and fill out a form for them and that was where the conversation ended because our district council office is 100km away from me, they couldn't even talk to me on the phone. I don't even know what to do about that, they just don't want to know."

She is urging DOC and the council to take action.

"These dogs need to be controlled. The quickest thing to do would be to poison them but they are just out of control. They are in the forest out here, they are on DOC land and they are just tearing us to pieces. It's not funny anymore."