Strong support for farming couple

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The owners of nearly 200 sheep shot in Ngapara just over a week ago are humbled by the support they have received from the community.

Farmers Peter and Janine Stackhouse lost about 195 sheep after the animals were shot overnight on Saturday, June 21, and Sunday, June 22, in what appears to be a random attack.

North Otago Federated Farmers and Rural Women North Otago are raising funds for the couple, who have lost nearly $30,000 from the incidents which killed the uninsured sheep.

Federated Farmers will hold a stock sale after the regular auction at the Waiareka Saleyards on Monday, July 7, with all proceeds going towards the Stackhouses and Rural Women have opened up a bank account for people to make donations to the couple.

Mrs Stackhouse said these initiatives were a big surprise and they really appreciated the support from everyone in the community, including their neighbours, who had been helping them recover.

“We are very humbled by it.

“We just want to thank the community for rallying around us.”

Federated Farmers North Otago meat and fibre chairman Greg Ruddenklau said they decided to hold the stock sale because the Stackhouses were going to be losing a substantial amount of money from the shooting.

“We wanted to help them out a bit.”

The whole farming community had been left shaken and wondering whether they would be next, he said.

“Most people are pretty shocked. There’s lots of unanswered questions.”

Mr Ruddenklau said he could not think of any reason why someone would do this; the sheep were not shot for their meat and he did not think anyone would have a grudge against the likeable couple.

Sheep can be donated by phoning Mr Ruddenklau on 432 4006 or 027 429 6179 or dropping them off before 9am on Monday, July 7.

The auction will be held after the sale normal, which starts at 10am at the Waiareka Saleyards.

A donation can also be made via the Rural Women North Otago’s Westpac account 03 0937 0071238 00 with the reference “Farm Stock”.

By RUBY HARFIELD