Weekenders, hobby farmers blamed for sheep killings
By Michael Sinclair-Jones
NUNILE farmer Des Driessen (left) is fed up with stray dogs killing his sheep.
He blames local hobby farmers who he says let their city pets roam onto his property at night and warns that he is laying poison baits to protect his flock.
“The owners come with their grandkids and pets on weekends and none of their dogs are properly trained,” Mr Driessen said.
“This has been going on for years.
“The owners don’t work the land for a living.
“Some keep their dogs tied up all day while they work elsewhere and when they return home at night, they untie their dogs to give them a run.
“The dogs get excited and run onto my property to attack my sheep.
“Others are allowed to roam loose at night when their owners visit on weekends.
“You can’t blame the dogs because it’s their natural instinct to chase and kill prey.
“It’s the owners’ fault.Read more
“Also, some grain growers don’t see a need to control their dogs because they don’t have sheep.”
Mr Driessen – who featured in a similar Herald Page 1 story in May 2016 – said a stray dog killed a $140 hogget last month in a night attack near his machinery shed.
“Dogs bite them on the hind leg to bring them down and eat them alive.”
“Others die when they stumble and fall when chased and the dogs tear them apart.”
Mr Driessen said he has lost seven sheep “torn up” by stray dogs in the past three months.
Dogs also killed 47 sheep on his property in a single month three years ago.
“I greatly appreciate the shire rangers’ immediate response but they can’t do much because by the time they get here the dogs have gone,” Mr Driessen said.
“You can’t shoot them because they mostly come at night and can’t be seen.
“I lay 1080 poison baits to control foxes but dogs prefer to kill something that moves.
“Those mongrels frighten the hell out of me – they’re worse than foxes.
“I’d like the shire to increase the penalty for dog attacks.
“I’m also ready to pay half the cost of a saliva test to show which dogs are killing my sheep.”
Mr Driessen has about 1200 merinos and 100 lambs and plans to complain to the shire about his latest losses.