Land protection officer Colin Zemek checks the dog trap set to combat the attacks on livestock in Condor Drive at Nikenbah.
Land protection officer Colin Zemek checks the dog trap set to combat the attacks on livestock in Condor Drive at Nikenbah. Valerie Horton

Setting a trap for sheep killers

AN ANIMAL trap has been set at a Sunshine Acres property where eight sheep were brutally killed by what is believed to be a pack of domestic dogs.

A compliance officer from the Fraser Coast Regional Council set the trap yesterday after the dog attack was reported at Condor Drive on Wednesday.

The attack was the second in as many weeks – a week before that, another Condor Drive family lost six sheep and a goat.

None of the animals were eaten, leading neighbours to believe domestic dogs were involved.

Soft traps, which close on the dogs but do not do serious damage, are also expected to be set up in the coming weeks as the council investigates whether it was an attack from domestic dogs or whether wild dogs were involved.

“It could have been done by one dog or a couple of dogs – it’s hard to tell,” land protection officer Colin Zemek said.

Mr Zemek said the attack had the hallmark of a domestic dog attack but that it was hard to know for sure without witnesses.

Land owners are required to deal with wild dogs that enter properties and attack livestock but domestic dog attacks are dealt with by the council.

While it is not yet clear whether the incidents were caused by wild or domestic dogs, the council encouraged residents to contact the vector control unit if livestock was killed or if residents saw wild dogs on their property.

By reporting sightings and feral pest activity the unit could create a map to identify problem areas, Vector and Pest Animal Control supervisor Shane Kelly said.

“When land owners report sightings we are able to see hot spots and help land owners design eradication programs and help with trapping programs.”

The vector control unit is currently investigating several feral dog sightings in the Burrum Heads area.

Condor Drive resident John McCarthy was left devastated by the attack, which destroyed three years of hard work building up his herd. He said his son, Dennis, would check the newly placed trap every morning.

Mr McCarthy, who is currently out of town with work, was heartened to receive some help from his community yesterday.

The Nikenbah Rural Fire Brigade got a permit to burn the carcasses of the animals that were killed and yesterday set about completing the task.

“We knew John was away and just thought they might need a hand,” Gary Krosland, a member of the brigade, said.



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