24 Jun 2014

Police investigate mass sheep shooting

3:04 pm on 24 June 2014

Police are investigating the shooting of about 200 sheep on a North Otago farm.

The farmer Peter Stackhouse said the sheep were shot over two nights on his farm at Ngapara, about 30km inland from Oamaru. He said he couldn't believe what he found when discovered the first casualties.

"Saturday morning about nine o'clock when I went to feed them, there were 110 shot the first night. I shifted their paddocks and the next night they came back and shot another approximately 80.

A lot of them were wounded. The vet and I spent hours each day going round and cutting the throats of sheep that were either walking around with a bullet hole through their head or bulelt holes through their front legs and so we spent quite a bit of time euthanising them.

We're not getting much sleep at night because we don't know who's walking around with these rifles and what else they're going to shoot, or who they're going to shoot."

Peter Stackhouse said it's puzzle why the sheep were targetted.

"There's a possibility they drove in, but they would have driven through other stock to get to this mob, so we think they've walked, and it would be over a kilometre and over electric fences and they've gone to a bit of trouble.

The other thing is they've picked up all their cartridges, there's not one cartridge in the paddocks, or they've had some sort of catcher on their rifles to catch them and we think they've probably used silencers.

The stock will have to go back to that paddock because that's where we were feeding them; there'a paddock of crop there, so I don't know whether we're going to stake it out at night time or what we're going to do."

Peter Stackhouse said the neighbours are keeping a watch as well, but he has no idea what the motive would be for the shootings.

His family has farmed in the district for 60 years and he knows of no-one with a grudge.