Goobarragandra farmer Lindsay Buckley has lost 12 sheep in two weeks to wild dogs.
His is one of the worst-hit properties in the region, and he said the unchecked predators are wreaking havoc on his animals.
“I’ll sometimes go out to try and locate the sheep to find them huddled up, too scared to move, with a couple of them dripping with blood from the dogs chewing on them while they are still alive,” he said.
“We’ve got a big problem here, the dogs are coming in from the national park and they’re killing my sheep – and they’re not dingoes, they’re wild dogs. It’s a different breed altogether, and these ones are wild beasts.”
Mr Buckley is old enough to remember the wild dog attacks of the seventies, when his father would lock the sheep up to protect them, and stand guard over them on horseback while they fed.
He said the situation is as bad now as it was back then, and not enough is being done.
Farmers are losing their stock to animals coming out of the national parks, but they’re the ones who have to cop the cost of lost stock. However, there are regulations dictating how far back into the national parks they are allowed to trap the dogs.
“I would like to see national parks pay for all the damage the dogs have done. They’d find they owe me a lot of money,” he said.
“I know one place that runs 25,000 sheep, and they lose about 1000 sheep to wild dogs per year.
“We want them to get rid of the wild dogs altogether. They’re state-wide now, it’s out of hand, and National Parks are still saying we’re not allowed to go back into the park further (to trap them).
“We want them to go further back into the park, because if you do kill a dog where you can get to them another one just comes and takes it place,” he said.
The Department of Primary Industries is currently asking for community submissions into their new wild dog management strategy, which can be made online.
However, Mr Buckley isn’t holding his breath.“I’ve been to meetings in Goobarragandra, Cooma, Tumut, Wee Jasper, Tumbarumba…nothing happens.”