Attack kills pet sheep

Brian McKay holds his daughter Hope’s sheep Dana, one of three to survive a wild dog or dingo attack that killed six.
Brian McKay holds his daughter Hope’s sheep Dana, one of three to survive a wild dog or dingo attack that killed six. Sarah Harvey

SIX sheep have been killed on a Haigslea farm - likely by dingoes - and the attacks in the region have reached plague proportions.

The attacks occurred last week on Livewell Farm, run by Lisa and Brian McKay.

A day later another property owner lost two sheep to attacks and a further six were mauled.

But the QT has learned that local vets have been attending hundreds of attacks a week on sheep.

A council tracker who came to the McKay property to investigate said that the attacks were likely caused by two or more dingoes. The next day Ms McKay found a dead dingo by the side of the road.

Adding to the family's heartache, the sheep had been raised by their 11-year-old daughter Hope.

Hope found the sheep early in the morning. Three were dead and three later had to be put down. Two others had injuries.

"That was our daughter's flock of sheep," Ms McKay said.

"We encourage our children as an educational process to look after their own animals, maybe even earn a bit of an income, have responsibility and understand the life and death cycle.

"This was Hope's project. She has always loved sheep.

"We had nine sheep in total. Six of them are now buried, with all of them pregnant, possibly with twins.

"We have a ram and two ewes left. One of them Hope has bottle-fed since it was orphaned as a baby from another property. It is injured, but still alive. Her other favourite one was killed.

"It has been very distressing for an 11-year-old. I was upset. The vet was upset. How could you not be? It was like a war zone.

"The vet was saying that hundreds of sheep are mauled every week. But it is not reported. It is a much bigger issue than people think that it is."

Ms McKay said that the tracker who visited her property believed the culprits were dingoes, and that there were two or three of them.

"I said to him that the most important thing was for us to protect the sheep we have left, and he said that we couldn't do any more than we were already doing," she said.

The family locks the sheep up every night now in an area and lets them out in the morning. The sheep that were attacked were in a fenced paddock.

Ms McKay has phoned her neighbours to warn them about what has been happening and a note is being placed in the Haigslea State School newsletter.

Topics:  dingoes wild dogs

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.