Lochiel resident Peter Ferguson woke to find a severely mauled sheep on his front porch late last month.
“It was very odd, as I was making my coffee I saw one of my sheep had busted into the house paddock and was on the front doorstep sitting there earless and bumless.”
Mr Ferguson went outside to investigate, he noticed two dead sheep and a number severely injured with bite marks and open wounds to sheep’s backsides, faces and legs.
The attack was thought to have been by a pack of wild dogs and happened over 25 hectares of land. Due to the severe injuries, the majority of Mr Ferguson’s sheep had to be put down.
I lost 16 ewes, most of them had to be put down because they were in a pretty ordinary statePeter Ferguson
“I lost 16 ewes, most of them had to be put down because they were in a pretty ordinary state,” he said.
“The Local Land Services and State Forests were on to it straight away and thought it was a bitch and her pups – a training run for her pups because they didn’t actually kill the sheep.
“They just purely reined them in such a fashion that rendered them useless, they were severely in pain and had to be destroyed,” Mr Ferguson said.
Mr Ferguson urges farmers who have suffered attacks to their livestock to report the incident so the relevant authorities can help address the issue.
“It was a pretty senseless act by these dogs, and it cost me my entire breeding flock,” he said.
“I had just got the herd through the drought, there was some good green pick coming up and they were all in such good condition, it was a pretty sickening thing to see.
“It was just a crying shame having to pile them all up and bury them.”
Landholders who suspect wild dogs on their land or are suffering dog attacks should contact their Local Land Services office.
South East Local Land Services’ wild dog coordinator Tim Shepherd said management plans for the area are to be reviewed this Wednesday, November 7.
“The wild dog management plans are a really important tool in managing the risks posed by wild dogs in the South East, Mr Shepherd said.
“These are cooperative agreements developed between private and public land managers and look at how we can work together to manage dogs on a local level.
“Each plan is tailored for the needs of the area and as such relies on local participation – they are real collaborative efforts”.
Workshop details can be found on the South East Local Land Services website.