Howick and Pakuranga Times
Botany and Ormiston Times : Botany and Ormiston Times Thursday September 3 2015
www.times.co.nz Botany and Ormiston Times, Thursday, September 3, 2015 — 3 SC3451-V4 ■■ By Natalie BrittaN Vicious canines have torn apart a flock of sheep traumatising a family and a farmer, and locals suspect it’s not the first time they’re responsible. Karaka man Barry Jones says 20 of his sheep on 40 hectares of leased Whitford land were killed last week by dogs which he suspects were the same culprits that mauled 40 of his sheep last year. But there’s nothing he can do to prevent it from happening again. “We’ve got to catch [the dogs] doing the sheep. They’re pretty hard to photograph [in the act] at 10pm- 2am. You can’t be there 24/7. “Even animal control weren’t prepared to come out at 10pm unless the dogs were actually attacking the sheep. Their book says they’re 24 hours but they’re not.” Mr Jones says the SPCA required him to destroy nine of the sheep that were badly wounded, which he did by calling in local Ditch Keeling from Coastal Pest Solutions. “But it’s not my fault. Why should the SPCA get down my throat because of those dogs?” Fifteen of the sheep killed were ewes which left behind lambs too young to bottle feed and their health will suffer as a result, says Mr Jones. Because the sheep weren’t on his own land they cannot be insured, leaving Mr Jones more than $2000 out of pocket. Mr Jones alleges the dogs are an Alsatian and border collie from a neighbouring property and says they were taken to court but to no avail. “Last year they were seen by some people but they were townies and they got the identification wrong so we couldn’t prosecute. We didn’t have enough evidence so they got [the animals] back. Mr Jones says the law is on the side of the dog owners and although he knows of three other local farmers who were in the same predicament last year, there’s nothing that can be done. Mr Jones, who does not live on the land, says he was in Wellington when the attack happened. Rochelle and Scott Harris who live on the property in Whitford Road with their eight-year-old daughter, Gabriella, alerted him of the incident. Mrs Harris says they were at the vets tending to their dog that had died from a car accident earlier that night when they got home around 9pm and heard barking. “We rushed out, jumped in the jeep and went down our house driveway which is 500m long,” she says. “ The sheep and the lambs just came flying past in the paddock. The screaming they made and their fear was just awful to listen to. The sheep were screaming, the lambs were screaming, the ewes were screaming. “And we heard barking that sounded like the really yappy, most excited dog, really loud, like it was having the time of its life ... killing sheep.” Mrs Harris says at one point she thought there were two dogs. “ There could be a change in the bark so we’re not certain but to me it sounded like a different bark.” The Harrises called the help of a hunter in Whitford Park Road who had a night light and went searching but found nothing. “But within half an hour of his leaving, the dog started again and killed a lamb right outside our bedroom.” The bloodbath carried on until midnight, says Mrs Harris. “We could hear it yapping and barking and the sheep were screaming again. Half of Whitford must’ve heard us – we were so angry. We knew there would be carnage in the morning and, of course, there was. Barry’s piled up all the sheep in the paddock and it’s quite a gruesome sight,” she says. The offal pit was overflowing and Mr Jones was visibly shaken, says Mrs Harris. “Never in my life, have I seen a grown, mature farmer look like he’s on the verge of tears.” In the days that followed, the whole farm was in mourning, says Mrs Harris. “When the lambs die [their mothers] refuse to leave the spot. They’re pretty sad to watch in times like this.” The main concern for the family remains the safety of their daughter. “She’s a farm girl but last year she was very scared. She’d run from the house to the car and ask if the dogs were there and she loves animals,” says Mrs Harris. “ This is out of the ordinary. She shouldn’t have to see it.” Last year, Mr Jones’ sheep were killed over a period of five nights and one attack was carried out as early as 5.30pm. ■■ By Farida Master Alove for Barbershop singing will take mother- daughter duo Mehernaz and Persis Darukhanawalla along other local singing stars of the Greater Auckland Chorus to the international championship in Las Vegas. Elm Park School teacher Mehernaz Darukhanawalla and her daughter Persis are heading to Las Vegas. They are a part of the Greater Auckland Chorus (GAC) and are really excited about competing at the coveted Sweet Adelines International championship at the beginning of October. Sweet Adelines is one of the world’s largest singing organizations for women, boasting members from five continents. In 2014, the chorus won the coveted New Zealand National title in Barbershop singing for the sixth time which qualified them to represent New Zealand at the world championships. Around 70 women between the ages of 19 and 75 come together at GAC to make breath-taking music. Devoting hours of practice, the group of professionals sing at night and work by day. The GAC provides a pitch perfect opportunity for doctors, lawyers, real estate agents, clinical psychologist, teachers and mums to find a creative outlet. Mehernaz, a bass section leader, says the chorus is a big part of her life and she loves the opportunity to share it with her daughter. “It’s not just a hobby, it’s a lifestyle and it’s wonderful that I can share this with Persis,” says the Botany Downs resident. Persis, who studies at Auckland University of Technology was a part of the Macleans College Barbershop chorus, Macappella, for several years, and was also a member of a champion quartet while at Macleans. For Margaret Aish from Pakuranga it was her first visit to a rehearsal 16 years ago that hit a chord. Ms Aish says she is thrilled being part of the unique four part harmony and all the friendships forged over the years. “I remember just wanting to be amongst that sound – it was great,” says Ms Aish. Her sister Helen sings with the chorus in the baritone section. Also joining them on their trip to Vegas as they battle it out in the international arena is Howick- based Carol McLinden who sings lead. Ms McLinden was living in Australia when she joined her first Barbershop chorus in 1997. She thanks her mum for introducing her to a hobby that’s become a big part of her life. “Mum was on holiday with us when were living in Ballarat. “She was missing her chorus (GAC) so we went along to the Ballarat Sovereign Chorus to check it out.” The Howick based McLinden’s sang with Ballarat for several years and joined GAC when the family returned to Auckland in 2004. She loves the close harmonies unique to Barbershop. “I still get a buzz out of it,” she says. ■➤ The Greater Auckland Chorus will be performing a concert on Sunday 6 September, 2.30pm at the Uxbridge Arts Centre. stock attacks Lambs led to slaughter by dogs the dog coNtrol act ■➤ The Dog Control Act 1996 requires dogs to be confined to a property through tall, impenetrable fencing. ■➤ A dog found running at large among stock or poultry can be seized or destroyed by the owner of the livestock. ■➤ Those wanting to report a dog problem can phone Auckland Council on 301-0101 Singing their way to Vegas New Zealand champions Greater Auckland Chorus will compete at the prestigious Sweet Adelines International World Championships in Las Vegas. Photos supplied Sheep on a Whitford farm stood no chance against killer dogs. Photo supplied ➤ Against crime ■➤ From page 1 ■➤ Count money away from public view under CCTV surveillance ■➤ In the event of a hold up people should behave passively with hands down and palms faced upwards ■➤ Remember to take down the name and contact details of witnesses Do not discuss the event with other staff and witnesses until an official statement has been recorded to avoid jumbling up information. Bars and pubs (on-licence) were also reminded not to serve intoxicated patrons as well as their duties as responsible hosts.
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