Call to muzzle animal group

I had to find Ray to bring his gun. My heart was pounding so I could hardly breathe and seemed to be running in the one spot, though I eventually got there.

I WAS appalled to read Animal Health Australia Group considering bringing in a code of standards advocating jailing owners who muzzle of working dogs that nip.

I have no problem with muzzling dogs if they nip but do have a problem with the pettiness when the livestock industry is losing millions of dollars to dog attacks.

Apparently this "knowledgeable" group of people know what it is like to have sheep slaughtered by dogs yet sanction such horrific deaths.

Dingoes kill for food and have a pattern of behaviour but now we have so many crossbreds it's hard to predict what they're up to.

If this righteous group is so concerned about the welfare of sheep and cattle, they need to ensure all dogs are muzzled, including wild dogs, dingoes and domestic dogs.

I have never seen sheep or cattle hurt by a nip from working dogs but can't say the same for marauding dogs - crossbreds and domestic dogs, as well as dingoes. Worst are domestic dogs: They are well fed and hardest to catch. Federal and state governments both know of the losses to the livestock industry by dogs so I find it hard to believe they would fund such a bizarre code of practice.

On the worst sheep slaughter, we lost more than 100 breeding ewes heavy in lamb and with 100 more aborting. They were a piece of cake for the dogs.

We've had shocking losses with our beautiful, harmless sheep from dogs and know countless producers whose stock suffer the same fate. Dingoes are a constant menace but at least they have a feed and don't tear the animal to bits just for a game.

Attacks from wild dogs, particularly unrestrained domestic dogs, are horrific. I think the biggest loss we have suffered was when we had a place outside Stanthorpe.

At that stage there were no dingoes in the area but domestic dogs were cruel.

If there were two or more allowed to roam, they got up to mischief and our sheep were the target of their fun. They would travel more than 20km for this entertainment.

On the worst sheep slaughter, we lost more than 100 breeding ewes heavy in lamb and with 100 more aborting. They were a piece of cake for the dogs. Most had their faces and throats torn off their bone structure … some were still alive.

Ray and I were in a state of shock at the violence. We shot them to put them out of their misery then had to burn them. It still makes me feel ill.

The survivors also lost their wool.

We were hit two days running and, on the second day I caught these dogs in action - a large Labrador and smaller black and white dog.

I had to find Ray to bring his gun. My heart was pounding so I could hardly breathe and seemed to be running in the one spot, though I eventually got there.

I hoped the dogs hadn't spotted me, but no, they were still there with four sheep already dead and more mauled. But they smelt or spotted us this time and took off, with Ray wounding the Labrador.

We traced the owners who lived in town but were growing small crops 8km from us.

The dogs came with them with glorious days of freedom, mainly spent chasing and killing wallabies. Though the owners were aware they were killing wallabies, it never occurred to them their dogs would be from sheep.

They wouldn't help us pile the sheep for burning … they didn't want to look at the massacre caused by their pets.

We couldn't bear these losses, emotionally and financially, so bought a property at Bony Mountain. We had relative peace until just before we came to Elbow Valley.

We had reasonable peace on our new place once we electrified the boundary fence but the dogs eventually got in - dingoes and roaming domestic dogs.

By this time we had beautiful superfine and ultrafine sheep. Once again dogs got in so Ray and I spent two months camping up the paddock protecting our ewes and lambs. We had stock in other paddocks and we were feeling absolutely ragged. Oh for a night's sleep in own bed.

The dogs were cheeky. They were coming in during the day and killing almost under our noses.

One early morning when we were leaving our nightly vigil, we saw sheep huddled oddly in a paddock where we had put about 140 young ultrafine weaners, in a safe paddock we thought.

We hadn't heard a thing, not even barking from our own dogs tied up in their kennels. The slaughter was hard to imagine. About 70 were disembowelled and had legs torn off them, none were eaten. The rest were bitten and few were untouched.

Please, all members of the Australian Animal Welfare Group, come down from your castle in La La Land and see what animal production is about. Don't you know contended animals are the most productive and are their owners' future income? We'd need rocks in our head to mistreat our animals.



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