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EVERY couple of days sheep and lambs across the region are mauled and killed in vicious attacks by dogs, police say.
With lambing season well underway and a recent spate of dog attacks, the state's rural crime officers have issued a stern warning.
NSW Police State Rural Crime Co-ordinator Detective Inspector Cameron Whiteside said the offending dog can be seized or destroyed if caught.
He said dog owners must take responsibility for their animal or they could be held liable.
"An owner of any dog which rushes at, attacks, bites, harasses or chases any person or animal, can be fined $1320 on the spot, along with other possible fines, and face having their dog seized," Detective Inspector Whiteside said.
"Dogs may also be lawfully destroyed in some instances by farmers if they are actively attacking livestock."
Detective Sergeant Bennett Nolan said in most cases the sheep and lambs are not eaten during the attack and are just left to die.
"They don't even do it for the feed, it's just the pack mentality of the attack," he said.
The attacks are heartbreaking for farmers already struggling through tough conditions due to the drought.
They don't even do it for the feed, it's just the pack mentality of the attack.NSW Police State Rural Crime Detective Sergeant Bennett Nolan
"It can be heartbreaking for our farmers to face heavy stock losses, as well as having to euthanise further stock due to severe injury as a result of dog attacks which can often decimate a significant portion of a flock in one night," Detective Sergeant Nolan.
"We are currently working together to come up with strategies to catch these dogs and hold owners responsible.
"It is up to us as people to make sure our dogs aren't put in a position where they can cause injury to livestock."
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Detective Sergeant Nolan there were a number of steps that graziers should take if there has been a dog attack.
"If the dog is still on the property, and if it's safe to do so, seize the dog that way we can track it back to the owner if it's microchipped," he said.
Detective Sergeant Nolan said if a dog is found attacking sheep, the owner of the sheep can destroy that dog.
Report any dog attack to your local council who will then work in conjunction with the police to investigate.
For more information on your rights, liability and penalties visit the dog attack reporting page on the Office of Local Government website.
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