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  • Writer's pictureThe Beagle

Council urges owner responsibility after dog attacks on livestock

After a recent spate of dog attacks on livestock, Eurobodalla Council is urging animal owners to be more responsible.

Council’s environmental health and compliance coordinator Noel Fuller said it has been emotionally distressing for farmers to wake up and see their livestock dead.

“Whether it’s sheep or calves, pet alpacas or prized animals, the loss of livestock from dog attacks is detrimental to their lives and income,” Mr Fuller said.

Mr Fuller urged rural property owners to make sure their dogs were contained within a yard.

“Any dog has the capacity to attack, even though they are domesticated, they’re still wild animals,” he said.

Mr Fuller has known dogs to roam from their property at night to go on “killing sprees” or “thrill kills” with their owners unaware.

“Dogs have an instinctual drive and get an adrenaline rush when killing animals.

“They also get more confidence when supported in packs of two or more dogs.”

Mr Fuller said dogs will amass as they travel through rural properties.

“It begins with neighbouring dogs playing together as mates - one night they might chase livestock, the next night becomes a chase and grab and the following night a chase and kill,” Mr Fuller said.

Mr Fuller said Council will act against any dog attacks on livestock or people.

“In the event of a dog attack, Council rangers can prosecute, and livestock owners can take action against the dog owner to recover the cost of lost animals,” Mr Fuller said.

“Council enforces legislation under the Animal Companion Act.”

Mr Fuller said dog attacks can increase come the warmer months and urged owners to be responsible.

What can be done to prevent your dog attacking livestock:

  • Don’t allow your dog to roam, especially with other dogs

  • Make sure fences are in good order and keep dogs within a yard

  • Ensure your dog is well cared for and fed – bored, hungry dogs go looking for fun and food

  • Make sure your dog is desexed as it will be less likely to roam

  • Don’t allow your dog to chase other animals such as birds for fun

  • Train your dog to be obedient and to socialise with other animals in a controlled environment.

For more information on pet ownership and responsibilities, visit Council’s website.


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