Hastings farmers face sleepless nights as livestock-killing dogs cause chaos

Hastings farmers Colin and Denise Davis have spent their recent nights in fear they’ll wake up to more of their lambs slaughtered.

They’ve lost more than 100 lambs worth an estimated $20,000 after dogs have attacked their stock five times in the past month.

The couple spent today nursing some of their sheep back to health. 

But they haven’t been sleeping much these past few weeks.

"We actually got a horse truck that we parked up and got up every couple of hours and went around to check out nothing was happening," they told 1 NEWS.

Down the road, local charity Leg-Up Trust’s farm was also hit earlier this month, losing five of the sheep they use for therapy on troubled and mentally ill youth.

The trust is worried its prized horses could be next. 

Trust director Ros Rowe calls the dog problem an "epidemic" after six farms in the area have been hit.

"The danger even with big horses is that dogs can get into the paddocks and chase them and then the horses go through fences," she said.

The Hastings District Council says it has caught four different dogs responsible for the attack and prosecution is highly likely.

John Payne of the council says more attacks will happen if owners continue to be irresponsible.

"I think the key is that a lot of people think their dog wouldn't do it. But the bottom line is if you find your dog sitting on the doorstep when you get up in the morning, it doesn't mean he's been there all night," he said.

The Davis’ hope insurance will cover their damages but want to see more regulation so incidents like this don’t keep happening.

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Hastings farmers have had thousands of dollars’ worth of livestock killed in raids by dogs. Source: 1 NEWS