More than 40 sheep slaughtered in dog attack

WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE: John Collis was devastasted to find his 41 sheep slaughtered in the night. Photo Dane Lillingstone / Border Post
WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE: John Collis was devastasted to find his 41 sheep slaughtered in the night. Photo Dane Lillingstone / Border Post Dane Lillingstone

STANTHORPE farmer John Collis is devastated after 41 of his sheep were killed on Monday night.

Included in the casualties was his 2008 Rosenthal Cup Champion of Champions.

Mr Collis is bitterly disappointed to lose his prized animals, but he is furious at the thought that they have been slaughtered by domestic dogs.

"It can be prevented if they tie their bloody dogs up at night time. That's how you prevent them," he said.

Southern Downs Regional Council's manager of Environmental Services Tim O'Brien said the council condemned the act and dog owners should take responsibility.

"Residents are reminded that domestic dogs must be controlled and not be able to stray from urban or rural properties," Cr O'Brien said.

"Unfortunately, in this circumstance, no one has been able to identify which dogs were involved or where they may have come from before the attack."

Mr Collis has been breeding sheep for 40 years.

He is on the Sheep and Wool Committee of the Stanthorpe Show, has won many awards for his sheep, and has spent plenty of money and long hours perfecting what he does.

He was very successful at the 2016 Stanthorpe Show just last week.

The long-term local farmer said he was already on alert for his sheep after his neighbours lost some last week.

He got up at 4am on Monday to check on them, but all was well.

"The next door neighbour rang up at about 7.30am and said 'you got dogs on the dam wall'."

What Mr Collis found was 41 of his 70 prized sheep, dead and scattered throughout his 13-hectare (32 acre) Stanthorpe property, near Storm King Dam.

"It's ripped their throats out and left them," he said.

"If they were wild dogs, they've had their throats ripped out - and I think dingoes usually go for the back end.

"I think it was two domestic dogs, for sure.

"It's got to be dogs. Mongrel bloody dogs. I think two of them. "It's bloody terrible, mate."

Cr O'Brien said while the dog owners had not been identified, they would "most likely have found blood on the dogs and should consider surrendering the dogs to council".

Mr Collis described the 2008 Rosenthal Cup Champion as a "good breeding ewe".

"Once you start with that sort of wool and it's super fine, you want to keep that breed going," he said.

He said he had spent the last 30 years developing the breed.

"I've been down to Mudgee to pick up some of these sheep and put them all together with Shalimar and some other breeds."

Mr Collis was very critical of irresponsible dog owners.

"Owners are not being responsible, and it's bloody terrible what damage they can do to poor old bloody defensive sheep."

Mr Collis said it may be the end of his involvement with sheep.

"You don't think of bloody sheep. You may think 'who cares about sheep?' But when you breed them and spend a lot of time doing it, it's bloody distressing, I tell you."

Topics:  editors picks farmer queensland rural stanthorpe wild dogs

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