Carmen is a social issues and rural reporter at the Bay of Plenty Times

Dogs maul lambs to death at Welcome Bay

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Welcome Bay farmer Colin Honeyfield says his stock has been mauled and killed by roaming dogs. Photo/John Borren
Welcome Bay farmer Colin Honeyfield says his stock has been mauled and killed by roaming dogs. Photo/John Borren

A Welcome Bay farmer has spoken out about roaming dogs after two of his lambs were mauled to death in a frenzied attack last week.

The Western Bay District Council said two dogs were in the pound following the incident but farmer Colin Honeyfield said it had been ongoing problem for years.

Finding stock dead or critically injured was distressing particularly during lambing he said and came at a big cost.

''It's worse thing ever and then you have to get rid of them and bury them. Everytime you go out and find one dead it's another $300 to $400 dollars down the drain.''

In the last three months he had also lost two sheep that had to be destroyed after suffering horrific wounds.

''A badly mauled hogget had a big chunk out of its behind and could hardly walk. We wondered what was wrong with it and it had this big hole in its side.''

''Another ewe had a very bad hamstring and both had to be destroyed.''

Mr Honeyfield farmed on 100 ha and had 500 sheep and said he knew of lifestyle block owners in the area that no longer had sheep as ''dogs have killed everything''.

He blamed the dog owners for not being responsible and said he sighted the dogs responsible for the latest attack and would have shot them if he had his gun.

Federated Farmers Bay of Plenty provincial president Darryl Jensen said it was first time the issue had been bought to his attention but it was a big concern as famers ''can't be out there 24/7 to keep an eye on their stock''.

Western Bay District Council compliance and regulatory manager Alison Curtis said it received a complaint about two dogs attacking stock on August 11 and they were identified and impounded.

''The dogs remain impounded pending a decision from the Council on the legal action to be undertaken.''

Council received about 120 complaints a year on dog attacks on other animals, the majority of these were dogs attacking other dogs followed by dogs attacking chickens, she said.

In 2015 it fielded 23 reported attacks on stock.

Western Bay of Plenty Area Prevention manager Inspector Karl Wright-St Clair said he did
not believe there were any legal requirements for Police to be notified if a farmer shot a dog for worrying stock.

But police would want to ensure any use of a firearm was done safely and lawfully especially if it was near a dwelling, he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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