An apparent council bungle has meant the owner of two roaming lamb-killing dogs escaped prosecution, and the North Otago farmer involved is “livid” over what he describes as the organization’s incompetence. Bill Malcolm was told yesterday the time limit for prosecution had been exceeded and the owners of the dogs, which were euthanized last year, could not be prosecuted. Bill Malcolm says it is a straightforward case in which the dogs — responsible for killing 16 lambs and injuring 7 others — were clearly identified and the owner admitted culpability, yet the council was incapable of going through the process in the required timeframe.

Council spokesperson Sonia Martinez says the council acknowledges “a failure of process” but does not consider the case is closed yet and therefore cannot offer any further comment. Bill Malcolm says the animal control staff he dealt with were capable and professional and he reckons no investigation is required and that the council should pay him the compensation owed. He says the total cost to him was just over $2630 including the cost of a vet call-out to assess seven injured lambs.