Attack dogs in crosshairs

TASMANIA’s peak farming body has issued some timely advice when it comes to dealing with incidents of dog attacks on livestock.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is urging livestock owners who may be in a situation where they have animals attacked to take photos of the offending dog as soon as possible while it is still on their property.

TFGA president Ian Sauer said unfortunately as urban areas spread, attacks on livestock and particularly sheep by dogs are becoming more common.

“It is a bit of a problem because dog attacks are not unusual,” he said.

“They do happen, and you would think there would be a better process in place to deal with it now but unfortunately that’s not happening.

“Unfortunately when you see where a dog has been in an attacked sheep its generally horrendous because it’s not a nice clean kill, they’re left maimed and bloodied and they normally don’t just kill one.”

The advice follows a distressing incident where a TFGA member lost more than a dozen sheep after an attack but has been frustrated by the process of getting the dog dealt with.

The TFGA says while the Local Government authority and police were notified and statements taken, unfortunately the dog, when caught slipped its collar.

Despite this, photographic evidence of the devastation caused was not deemed enough as the dog itself was not in a picture.

“If you can get that proof that they’ve been killing sheep by taking a photo with your phone if it’s safe to do so then that will go along way to help,” Mr Sauer said.

Mr Sauer said many dog owners were not aware that farmers have the right to shoot any dogs found wandering on their property, whether they are caught harming livestock or not.

“I think that’s what non farmers need to understand; if there is a dog found at large wandering on your property, it can be shot,” he said.

Mr Sauer said the significant cost of losing sheep now was also a factor that must be considered.

Under the Dog Control Act 2000, Local Council are legislated with the control and management of dogs.

The Act states that a person carrying on primary production relating to livestock on rural land or any other person acting under his or her authority may destroy any dog at large found on that land.