Breeding ewes attacked by dogs
One farmer fears there will be a rise in dog attacks on stock as more city slickers pack up their pets and go rural for a life in the country.
Kevin Carr is counting his losses after the savage mauling of four breeding ewes - just four weeks before they were due to give birth.
One of his ewes had its throat ripped out at the Valhalla Sheep Stud in Waimauku, north of Auckland.
Two more barely survived and there is a high chance they might miscarry as a result of their injuries.
The fourth ewe sustained multiple bites and is still alive - just.
"I don't think that sheep is going to make it either," Carr says.
"That's what usually happens when blood poisoning from the bites sets in."
Carr breeds dorpers and white dorpers with business partner Jim Leyland on a leased farm and says dog owners need to train and control their animals better.
"They need to understand they're not just pets. Dogs are derived from the wolf; they're still predators and they're going to want to hunt.
"Once they get the taste of blood they want it again and again."
More people are moving onto lifestyle blocks with their dogs as city sections become smaller, he says.
They fail to understand what dogs are capable of and should exercise tighter restraint on their pets, Carr says.
"I've seen people sitting on the deck laughing seeing a dog chase a pig around," he says. "It's not funny."
Another of Carr's ewes was chased during the attack on April 28 but escaped injury to go into labour four weeks early and gave birth to a tiny lamb.
"The stress of being chased would have brought the lamb on," Carr says.
Dorper sheep are cross-bred and of South African origin
Carr's dorper sheep meat won first and second prizes out of 25 entries in the Ovation Meats and Royal Agricultural Hook and Hoof competition in December.
Ovation meats exports to top restaurants in Europe.
- Norwest News