Sheep attacks take toll on community

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There is an uncomfortable feeling in the Ngapara area and the person who shot more than 215 sheep needs to hurry up and get caught, neighbouring farmer Joanne Watt says.

About 195 sheep were shot on Peter and Janine Stackhouses’ farm on Conlans Rd over the weekend of June 21-22 and another 23 sheep were shot at John and Wendy Dodds’ farm on Dodds Rd last weekend.

Mrs Watt said although she did not own any sheep, she felt uneasy about being in the area at the moment.

“I spent last night here on my own, which made me feel a bit uncomfortable.”

She was supposed to go away, but she did not want to leave her property or stock for fear that she would be next, she said.

Mrs Watt said she has tried to lock everything up as best she can and her dogs are always close to her for protection.

“If they saw any sign of life they will just go berserk.”

If her dogs heard anything they would go after the person and they would wish they had never entered her property, Mrs Watt said.

Everyone in the area has been looking out for each other but they just want to get it resolved, she said.

“What can you do apart from keep an eye on your stock? If they are coming in the middle of the night it is a bit hard.

“I wish they would just hurry up and get caught.”

The farmer said she has no idea why someone would want to do this but maybe they were mad and doing it for fun.

Any person who could go out an kill innocent animals had to be mad and there did not appear to be a grudge amongst anyone in the community, Mrs Watt said.

“The people that were targeted are all nice. We’re all friends out here. There’s no bad feelings amongst each other.”

She did not think the person who attacked the sheep had finished and everyone is worried about where they will target next, she said.

“I don’t think they’re finished yet.

“I don’t know where [they’re] going to pop up next.”

Mrs Watt said the community would probably feel more comfortable if there was more of a police presence in Ngapara.

“Perhaps it would [make a difference] if there were some floating around.”

She said she had not seen any police since Monday, when she passed them while they were on their way to the Dodds’ farm.

Oamaru Police Detective Warren Duncan, who is the sole officer in charge of this case, said the scene examination of the Dodds’ farm has finished and he is not aware of any police presence in Ngapara at the moment.

However the investigation is continuing and some positive leads are being followed, he said.

“The current focus is following up on information supplied by members of the public.

“It’s important for the safety of the community that we get to the bottom of these incidents.”

Police are still wanting to hear from anyone who may have information about both incidents, he said.

Detective Duncan can be contacted confidentially on 433 1416.

By RUBY HARFIELD

PHOTO: RUBY HARFIELD

UNCOMFOTRABLE FEELING: Neighbouring farmer Joanne Watt with her dogs Aussi (left) and Zola who will go “berserk” at any sign of life on her property.