Traumatised grazier warns she will shoot to kill after devastating dog attacks – ABC Rural


A traumatised grazier is making an emotional appeal for people to lock up their dogs, warning she will shoot to kill what she believes are a pair of pets attacking and killing cattle on her property.

In the last fortnight Sarah Eaton has found two pregnant Hereford cows and a calf dead from brutal injuries at her cattle stud at Stoney Creek near Woodford in south-east Queensland.

Ms Eaton was forced to euthanase a fourth cow that had both ears ripped off and wounds to its nose and buttocks.

Emotional plea

A graphic video posted to Facebook has been shared dozens of times.

“I apologise in advance for the gory s*** that people are about to see,” Ms Eaton writes.

“But if people of Stoney Creek or Woodford or those traveling through can’t keep their f***ing dogs locked up, I’m going to shoot them, promised.

Ms Eaton fired a shot at the dogs as they attacked two more pregnant cows in broad daylight this week and said the same well-fed animals were filmed after entering a neighbour’s property.

“These dogs, they’re killing for enjoyment,” she said.

“None of the animals are getting touched after they’ve been killed and they’re going for big strong animals, they’re not going for weak old ones, they’re not going for calves, they’re going for big animals.

“You can’t put into words being confronted by something like this. It’s pretty traumatic.”

Moreton Bay Regional Council is providing support by placing traps on Ms Eaton’s property and running regional baiting programs.

Pets join packs

The attacks have highlighted a nationwide problem of uncontrolled and wild dogs on urban outskirts.

Ms Eaton’s threat to shoot what she suspects are domestic dogs has been condemned by some, but has also gained widespread support.

“That’s the law,” Gympie grazier and Agforce wild dog committee member Ivan Naggs said.

Mr Naggs said irresponsible dog owners who do not secure their pets when they leave their properties are adding to the problem.

“They think their dogs are staying at home and they join other dogs and they go on a hunting spree,” he said.

Mr Naggs believes there are five times the number of wild dogs along the coastal belt than in western Queensland, where millions of private and taxpayer dollars have been spent on what is called ‘cluster’ fencing to keep predators out and reduce attacks on livestock.

“Now, I’ll get howled down for that but I’ll stick by that,” Mr Naggs said.

In Roma on Thursday, Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud announced a further $7 million toward cluster fencing for inland Queensland producers.

While congratulating governments for helping the sheep industry and assisting in council trapping and baiting programs, Mr Littleproud believes more money needs to be spent controlling dogs on the outskirts of towns and cities.

“Dogs are the major issue, not only for our cattle or our sheep or goat breeders but also for the wildlife,” he said.

“A koala’s got no hope against six or seven of these dogs.”

Greg Mifsud, national wild dog facilitator for the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, said it was quite possible in some locations that wild dog numbers on the coast could be higher than some more remote inland areas.

“We have done research that shows wild dogs do happily live in very small blocks of land, adjacent in some cases to a primary school,” he said.

Baiting controversy

Mr Mifsud agrees with Mr Naggs that dog-proof fencing is not affordable for many small people living on hilly terrain.

He said successful programs relied on people being actively involved in working closely with councils and their neighbours to manage dog issues.

Controversy over the use of 1080 baiting adds extra complexities.

“Those peri-urban landscapes like the one at Woodford are particularly difficult because you have a range of people living in those communities that may not be directly affected and, as a consequence, may or may not want to be involved,” Mr Mifsud said.

“There’s no doubt in other parts of Australia, where we have communities that aren’t all based around agriculture, that it is terribly difficult to manage dogs.”



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