2 Jul 2014

Shootings take farmer's breeding stock

8:17 am on 2 July 2014

A North Otago farmer says decades of breeding have been lost in the weekend shooting attack on his sheep.

John Dodd found more than 20 sheep dead and wounded on his farm, which is located 2 kilometres from the property where almost 200 sheep were shot over a week ago.

He was gutted to find his valuable breeding stock had been targetted, first young ewes and then stud rams.

"These are my stud Romney ram hoggets that we take through and sell at Christmas time to other people for breeding. They weigh about 80 kilos, they've got about 60 years of breeding behind them.

"They've just been cut down in the prime of their life really. The genetics are special. Takes a long time to breed things up and someone just to shoot them down like that."

Detective Warren Duncan of the Oamaru police said there were sinister overtones about the attacks, which have scared the local community.

"The fact that it's not just a pot shot from the side of the road, they haven't appeared to have taken any stock, they haven't slaughtered any stock for meat - it certainly has a sinister type of overtone. It's a person we need to get a hold of and speak to pretty quickly."

Mr Duncan said farmers needed to leave it the hands of the police and not take matters into their own hands.

"We don't want to see farmers out there with guns in their utes, patrolling around. That's just going to lead to absolute disaster and it needs to be left with the police to deal with."