“It was a real massacre”: dog attacks are increasing in western Aveyron

“It was a real massacre”: dog attacks are increasing in western Aveyron
“It was a real massacre”: dog attacks are increasing in western Aveyron

Since the start of the year, around ten sheep have been killed by stray dogs in the towns of Decazeville and Aubin.

“VSThey are killer dogs.” In Decazeville, since the start of the year, dog attacks targeting Ouessant sheep, popular for eco-grazing, have increased. After a first attack last February on the road to Bonissard – a sheep was seriously injured – two new ones, even more violent, took place last month on the heights of the old mining town and Aubin.

This April 23, around 10:30 p.m., while Antoine Rodriguez was watching television, noises alerted him. “I heard dogs barking. […] I went out and saw two of them chasing my sheep.”says the resident of the place called La Buscalie. “I arrived in time, even though they had already bitten some. The vet had to sting a sheep. If we hadn’t heard them, they would have massacred them all.”

Nine sheep died in the same night

In the early morning, a few hundred meters on the Lacombe road, Jean-Paul Dieude’s animals were also targeted by two dogs, between 5 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. “My aunt [voisine] heard noise at 6 o’clock, barking, sheep bleating worryingly. A sheep had come to burrow under his terrace. […] When I arrived, it was a real massacre. The ram had a broken spine. The lambs, the smallest of which were barely three weeks old, were half slaughtered. I put them all in my van to take them to the vet. She told me she had never seen anything like that.”recalls the owner.

Results of the attack: four lambs, two rams and two ewes killed, even though they were protected by an electric fence. “The fence was broken, there was wool everywhere,” testifies the distraught resident, who filed a complaint against X, like his neighbor, for unintentional death or injury caused to a domestic animal.

“The risk is that they attack children”

“With the torch, I saw that they had collars. They have an owner, they are not abandoned dogs”estimates the resident of La Buscalie. “For these dogs, it’s a game. Those responsible are the owners who let them wander. They must have tucked in their bloody lips”presumes Jean-Paul Dieude who fears new attacks. “I have three sheep left, but not for long I think. […] Now that dogs have acquired a taste for it, the risk is that they will attack children.” No element of the investigation made it possible to identify the animals involved in these attacks. Twelve days before, two large dogs had already been seen by a team of police officers called to the scene of another sheep attack – the fourth of the year to date, the police station said.

Last February, municipal police officer Christophe Zarate recalled that in Decazeville, a municipal decree supplements the Civil Code. It requires, among other things, dogs to be kept on a leash in public spaces, their identification, the collection of dog waste and penalizes unwanted barking. It was put in place by the mayor in 2019, following several serious bites that occurred in the Basin.

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