Around ten ewes and 20 lambs were killed by two Boxers near Thórdarkot in Eyrarbakkahreppur municipality in south Iceland on Thursday. The owner, Sigurdur Nilssen, shot and killed the dogs as soon as he got to the scene.
Sheep grazing peacefully. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
“According to law, it’s the owner’s right to shoot dýrbítar under such circumstances,” Nilssen told Fréttabladid. In Icelandic, dýrbítur (Lit. “animal biter”), is a fox or a dog that attacks sheep.
Nilssen described the sight that awaited him in the pasture as “horrific”. “The heads were broken and the sheep have large bite wounds.” He said it was clear that the dogs had only intended to kill; all the sheep attacked were only bitten in the neck or head.
There were 50-60 ewes with lambs in the pasture. “It’s not just the dead sheep but the lambs have also been scared away from their mothers. Everything is in chaos,” Nilssen explained, adding that he must bottle feed the lambs that can’t be reunited with their mothers.
Nilssen was notified that the Boxers were attacking his sheep by prisoners from Bitra who were working on fences nearby. They saved one lamb’s life.
The police were called to the scene from Selfoss who saw that the dogs had a micro tag and contacted the owner. The dogs were reported missing 24 hours earlier. A local veterinarian confirmed that the sheep were all dead because of dog bites.