A dog belonging to the owner of a holiday cabin at Nordseter, in the mountains above Lillehammer, hunted down and killed six lambs and a sow that had been released for free grazing this summer. Wildlife officials from Statens Naturoppsyn are calling on all dog owners to respect leash laws that are in force from April 1 through August 20.
“This is terrible,” sheep owner Johan R Holand of Lillehammer told state broadcaster NRK as he examined the cadavers of his flock. “It’s not the first time we experience an attack on our sheep from loose dogs.”
Holand found his lambs bloody and lifeless, with the head of one of them bitten off. State inspectors could determine that the wounds were not from a wolf or other wild predators, and they tracked down the owner of the dog.
“The dog had run off from a hytte,” Holand told NRK. “We’ve had good contact with the dog’s owner and see no reason to call police.” He expects the dog will be destroyed.
Lars Bendik Austmo of Statens Naturoppsyn said the wildlife agency isn’t always contacted when a dog is responsible for attacking livestock. He said dogs were responsible for killing at least 84 sheep and reindeer last year, but the actual numbers are probably much higher. “Dog owners must not be naive about their dogs,” he said, adding their hunting instincts can be awakened when they’re in the wild.