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Roaming dogs must be reported: farmers, council

theguardian.com.au, 29.04.2015

     , . "The Guardian" - 25 Nyah West. 50 . Brendan Rogers' Wood Wood, - .
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      Brendan Rogers, , - , . , , .
      Swan Hill . . 6000 .
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      Roaming dogs must be reported: farmers, council
     FARMERS are on edge as deadly dog attacks continue unabated on livestock across the region.
      Six sheep were killed on Brendan Rogers' Wood Wood farm early Sunday morning and two more will have to be put down due to injuries.
      The slaughter is the eighth in a string of similar incidents, all occurring in the past four weeks.
      Just last month The Guardian reported on an attack which saw the death of 24 sheep at the Maher family's property at Nyah West.
      Since then, another 50 sheep have also been killed.
      Five dogs have been destroyed as a consequence of the attacks three in the Lake Boga area and two in Tresco.
      However, Mr Rogers suspects the dogs who killed his livestock are the same that killed Mr Maher's a pair of domesticated animals from the Nyah Nyah West vicinity.
      He believes the killer animals will "definitely" be back.
      "It's a thrill thing. Once they've done it once they'll come back, to the same spot usually," Mr Rogers said.
      "That's the biggest worry.
      "[Swan Hill Rural City Council] is very concerned.
      "They're going to be running patrols to try and work out if we can source where they are coming from."
      Council has called for the community to demonstrate better pet management, reminding owners that dogs who attack livestock can incur fines of up to $6000 and face extermination.
      "Having to put stock down as a result of dog attacks is a terrible outcome, no matter where it happens, and we want to do everything we can to prevent further incidents in our municipality," council's director development and planning Brett Luxford said.
      "It is in the best interests of everyone involved farmers, dog owners and the general community to make sure dogs are securely confined when their owners are not home," Mr Luxford said.
      Nigel Murch from Swan Hill Pet Boarding echoed council's calls for increased vigilance, saying that any dogs' actions lie squarely at the feet of the dog owner.
      "Dogs are a byproduct of the owner," he said.
      "It's purely and simply about the way the dog has been brought up."
      "If the owner's not going to be responsible and make sure the dog is suitably contained, make sure the dog has stimulation when they are away, make sure that the dog isn't roaming then they shouldn't have a dog, let alone a hunting dog."
      The dead sheep represent a loss of income for Mr Rogers of over $1000, without factoring in the extra hours to be taken away from farm work by patrolling.
      However, the Wood Wood farmer says he simply wants the dogs to be caught and dealt with accordingly.
      He urges anyone who has seen dogs roaming free to report them immediately.
      "We want to get the message out there that people have to be very vigilant of their dogs and make sure they're tied up," Mr Rogers said.
      "We've got to catch these dogs."
      LIVESTOCK LOSS: Farmers are calling for pet owners to control their dogs in a bid to prevent future attacks.


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