Dogs attack calves

Mastiff or pitbull-type dogs suspected in attack near airport, and farmer says problem now out of control.

Mastiff or pitbull-type dogs suspected in attack near airport, and farmer says problem now out of control.

DOGS attacked a herd of young calves in a paddock next to Gisborne airport on Tuesday night, killing two outright and so badly injuring three that they had to be put out of their misery.

Neighbours called police and Gisborne District Council animal control staff during the night.

Stock owner Mike Sherriff was notified early on Wednesday morning and went to the paddock to investigate.

“Animal control told me there were two large dogs involved, possibly mastiff or pitbull-type dogs, and that was confirmed later by a neighbour.

“They rounded the weaner calves up and herded them into a corner of the paddock before they made their attack,” Mr Sherriff said.

“They must have been big dogs because these were 70 to 80-kilogram calves.”

The paddock where the attack occurred was next to the entrance road into the airport terminal area. The calves were worth $400 each.

“Two were dead when I arrived and the other three had injuries from which they could not have recovered, so I called in a veterinarian straight away to put them down.”

Mr Sherriff said stock had been attacked in the paddock before.

“We used to run sheep in there but there were so many attacks, we stopped running sheep and decided to put a herd of more than 40 young cattle in there instead.”

Gisborne District Council’s animal control section has an investigation under way.

“We have been able to give them good descriptions of the dogs, thanks to the neighbours. A lot of people know what these dogs look like and we are hopeful they will eventually be tracked down.”

Mr Sherriff said he planned to try to trap the dogs in the paddock if they returned.

“They probably will come back and hopefully we can catch them and shoot them. There was no way those dogs were hungry. They attacked the calves for sport and I am sure they want to have another go,” he said.

“My concern is also that dogs like this, like the ones involved in the attacks out in Lavenham Road at Waituhi, are breeding as fast as they are being shot.

“I think there should be more policing of people who own dogs like this,” Mr Sherriff said.

“I would like to see the council get more proactive about unregistered dogs because this problem has really is out of hand now.”

DOGS attacked a herd of young calves in a paddock next to Gisborne airport on Tuesday night, killing two outright and so badly injuring three that they had to be put out of their misery.

Neighbours called police and Gisborne District Council animal control staff during the night.

Stock owner Mike Sherriff was notified early on Wednesday morning and went to the paddock to investigate.

“Animal control told me there were two large dogs involved, possibly mastiff or pitbull-type dogs, and that was confirmed later by a neighbour.

“They rounded the weaner calves up and herded them into a corner of the paddock before they made their attack,” Mr Sherriff said.

“They must have been big dogs because these were 70 to 80-kilogram calves.”

The paddock where the attack occurred was next to the entrance road into the airport terminal area. The calves were worth $400 each.

“Two were dead when I arrived and the other three had injuries from which they could not have recovered, so I called in a veterinarian straight away to put them down.”

Mr Sherriff said stock had been attacked in the paddock before.

“We used to run sheep in there but there were so many attacks, we stopped running sheep and decided to put a herd of more than 40 young cattle in there instead.”

Gisborne District Council’s animal control section has an investigation under way.

“We have been able to give them good descriptions of the dogs, thanks to the neighbours. A lot of people know what these dogs look like and we are hopeful they will eventually be tracked down.”

Mr Sherriff said he planned to try to trap the dogs in the paddock if they returned.

“They probably will come back and hopefully we can catch them and shoot them. There was no way those dogs were hungry. They attacked the calves for sport and I am sure they want to have another go,” he said.

“My concern is also that dogs like this, like the ones involved in the attacks out in Lavenham Road at Waituhi, are breeding as fast as they are being shot.

“I think there should be more policing of people who own dogs like this,” Mr Sherriff said.

“I would like to see the council get more proactive about unregistered dogs because this problem has really is out of hand now.”

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Karen Batchelor - 4 months ago
It's not about the breed of the dog - although the bigger the dog, the more damage they can do of course - this is about stupid owners. Who, in their right mind, allows their dog the freedom to behave like dogs especially around livestock. They're predators. They are born knowing how to bring down prey so forget the 'once they have the taste for blood myth' (that's for stupid people too).
This behaviour isn't about hunger, necessarily, it's about instinct and if your chosen pet is a predator then it is your responsibility to contain and restrain them.
Hopefully the owners are discovered and have to pay every penny for the damage they have allowed their predator to do. Granted, accidents happen like gates left open - but this crap is happening to farmers and their stock too often to believe it's accidental.

People and pets before Pit Bulls - 4 months ago
It is very much about the breed of dog. Dogs are purpose-bred and some dogs, like Pit Bulls were bred to fight and kill dogs and animals. Size of the dog has little to do with it. It is the intent to kill, being game bred, specific to dog fighting breeds that is key as to the dangers of the breed.
Most domesticated dogs have been bred away from having high prey drive which is what makes them good pets. But it isn't all about high prey drive, as a dog can have high prey drive, like a Labrador, yet lack the kill bite portion of the sequence.


Gabrielle Keen, Rangitikei - 4 months ago
BSL now. It is about the breed of dog and it is about the type of owner attracted to the breed of dog. We need to stop bowing down to Pit Bull advocates and do something about the ever-increasing problem of inherently dangerous Pit Bull and Pit Bull-mix dogs creating mayhem. Pit Bulls maim and kill more often than all other breeds of dog put together. They are dog aggressive and often human aggressive as well. It's not their fault . . . it's what they were designed for. It's in their DNA. No amount of dressing them up in cute outfits, posting photos of them with babies or chanting "It's how they're raised" or "Blame the deed...not the breed" will change the facts.