Once they’ve done it once, you can never get it out of them. They’ve got to be destroyed.”
Those are the words of frustrated farmer David Scilley, one of a
handful of landowners south of Narrabri who have collectively lost more than $10,000 of sheep in recent weeks to dog attacks.
Wild dogs have been a major problem, and are the target of a poisoning program, but farmers are warning that if any domestic dogs are joining in, their owners could end up liable for the cost.
Last Thursday night was a particularly bad one, with Andrew Mullins losing more than 20 prized Dorper sheep at his Tomlinsons Lane property, in some cases having their skulls torn out, in others having their faces ripped and having to be put out of their misery by a bullet.
That took Mr Mullins’ losses to more than 30 sheep and about $10,000 in the space of a few days.
Mr Scilley lost eight lambs worth more than $1200 in an attack a fortnight ago, and more on Saturday night, while other farmers’ sheep in the area have also been targeted.
In a tough year, it’s the last thing farmers need, and they are frustrated and more than a little angry at behaviour which could be curbed.
Mr Mullins said it was an ongoing problem, and he had reported it to police.
“I’d rather be doing something more productive than having to shoot sheep, dispose of them and put baits out for wild dogs,” he said.
“I’m sick of it. It’s very expensive, not to mention disheartening.”