Sheep mauled by wild dogs
TWEED landholder Trevor King thought he had done everything to protect his latest business venture from killer dogs. That was until Thursday night when dogs - possibly dingoes or roaming domestic pets - tore into five of his special Wiltipoll ewes. The sheep are a new Australian variety which shed their own wool and which Mr King planned to breed for their superior-quality, lean, lamb meat. Despite nearly two-metre-high fences, which he erected to keep out the wild beasts which have wreaked havoc on other farms inland of the Tweed Coast, two of the ewes were killed outright. Another had to be put down early yesterday morning. A few hours later a vet x ordered the same for two more. Mr King's dream of a new business enterprise with sheep that would easily adapt to the Tweed's climate was also torn apart. "I'm left with one sheep out of six. They ruined the new venture," said a stunned Mr King yesterday as he prepared to search his perimeter fencing for torn hair or other evidence of how the dogs got in. Mr King said dogs had been a problem in Clothiers Creek for years because the area was bounded to the east by Cudgen Nature Reserve and in the south by Mooball National Park near Burringbar. "We were aware there has been a dog problem because we had other sheep killed here in the past," said Mr King. "We put a six-foot-high dog fence all around, with barbed wire on the top and a 9000-volt electric wire around the bottom to stop them digging underneath." Mr King said he had shot one of a pack of five pure-red dingoes more than a year ago and later two domestic dogs gone wild. The NSW Rural Protection Board, which had been issuing local landowners with poisonous baits, had warned him that while many of the baits were successful "many of these dogs are becoming bait shy". "They become too cunning for the baits," said Mr King. With so much bushland on the Tweed Coast and inland to Burringbar connecting with other national parks, he believes the wild dogs have an extensive habitat. "And they mustn't just be killing domestic stock. They must destroy a lot of native stuff as well," he said.