Council investigates dog attacks on local livestock
Posted on: 26.07.2018
Wollondilly Council has started an investigation into the increased number of domestic dog attacks on livestock in the Wilton area.
All residents in the area will soon receive a letter advising them to be vigilant with stock on their properties and to report any dog attacks to Council for further investigation.
Some affected property owners have been offered the use of Council’s dog trap, however no dogs have been caught at this stage.
Manager Compliance, Robyn Cooper explained, “Usually domestic dogs don’t get caught in traps because they are killing for the thrill and not motivated by food like wild dogs.”
Under the provisions of the Companion Animals Act 1998 it is the responsibility of the owner or person in charge of a dog to ensure that it is kept within the confines of the property boundaries.
All dogs should be on a leash and under the effective control of a competent person when they are in a public place.
Ms Cooper said, “Dog attacks from wild or domestic dogs can have a negative impact on farmers financially and emotionally. It is estimated to cost farmers thousands of dollars each year on lost income and is obviously extremely distressing for the livestock involved.”
“Attacks on livestock are most commonly carried out by dogs that have not been adequately contained within their own property.”
Under the Act, a farmer may lawfully seize and detain a dog on a property if they reasonably believe the dog may injure or kill livestock being farmed on that property.
This includes injuring or destroying the dog in order to prevent the attack or loss of stock.
Ms Cooper said, “Council takes all dog attacks seriously and the owner of a dog who allows it to attack and injure or kill livestock is responsible for the cost of the veterinary treatment for those animals.”
Legally, the owner of the livestock can take action against the dog owner to recover the cost of injured or killed animals. The Act also provides for various penalties which may be imposed upon the owner or person in charge of an offending dog.
Dog attacks should be immediately reported to Council by phoning 4677 1100 both during work hours and also for after-hours attacks.