Grisly attacks force sheep out

Brad ThompsonThe West Australian

The Foulkes-Taylor family have just made the heartbreaking decision to de-stock Yuin Station because of wild dog attacks.

As trucks loaded sheep on the 130,000ha property yesterday, Emma Foulkes-Taylor said she also felt a sense of relief because she could no longer stand to see the injuries caused by the dogs.

Mrs Foulkes-Taylor said the family began to notice the odd wild dog about three years ago but it had become a wave.

Yuin is about 200km north-east of Geraldton in what Mrs Foulkes-Taylor described as the last bastion of sheep in the south-west of pastoral country.

The family have run the station since 1929, for four generations. They have done all they can to halt the advance of wild dogs with only limited success.

"We bait four times a year, we trap, we shoot dogs if we see them - but you very rarely see them - and if we see dog activity in an area we'll target bait heavily," Mrs Foulkes-Taylor said.

Her son Tom said the family was keeping a few sheep in "dog-proof paddocks".

"I'd love to stay at home and run sheep," Mr Foulkes-Taylor said.

"But we can't breed them quickly enough to replace the losses."

The family kept detailed records of lambing rates among their 6000 dorper ewes which showed ringlock fencing with barbed wire running along its length prevented dog attacks.

They are hoping a major fencing project to enclose about 90,000sqkm, including part of their station, goes ahead for the sake of the industry's future.

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