The shooting of around 200 sheep on a Ngapara farm has shocked the community.
Peter Stackhouse’s farm is in out-of-the-way Ngapara, about 25 kilometres inland from Oamaru, and the offenders left no clues as to their identities or motives.
Mr Stackhouse discovered a paddock on his 240ha farm looking like a battlefield on Saturday morning, littered with dead and bloodied sheep.
“I initially thought we must have had dogs in overnight. And then I looked at a few and I thought that it’s odd that their legs aren’t ripped apart or something,” he says.
He wanted a second opinion, with his vet confirming the head and leg injuries were all from bullet wounds.
But many of animals still had to be euthanised.
“[The vet] and I spent probably two to three hours walking around cutting the throats of lots of them, because they weren’t dead. They were lying on their sides kicking, or some were walking around in a dazed state,” says Mr Stackhouse.
The first paddock targeted by the offenders is more than 1 kilometre from the nearest road. Police can’t find any evidence of wheel tracks, and it’s believed the shooters had to have walked in to access the area.
The stock loss will cost the small farm around $30,000. . .
The family has been farming around Ngapara for decades and are community stalwarts.
That is a big loss for them but and it’s made worse when it’s combined with cruelty to animals and the knowledge that at least one person with a firearm is at large with evil intent in the area.
That police found no tyre tracks, footprints or cartridges deepens the mystery and the concern.