Fur seal killed in Brighton dog attack

A New Zealand fur seal. Supplied photo
A New Zealand fur seal. Supplied photo

The Department of Conservation is appealing for information after a dog attacked and killed a protected fur seal on Brighton beach, near Dunedin.

A Brighton resident discovered the remains of the New Zealand fur seal while walking on the beach on June 7, and reported it to the Department of Conservation hotline.

DOC Coastal Otago services manager David Agnew said today the autopsy and pathology report from Massey University confirmed a dog killed the juvenile female seal.

"The autopsy confirmed severe trauma to the head and neck, consistent with a dog attack. Injuries included severe depressed fractures to the skull with many other bite wounds present," Mr Agnew said.

"This shows the importance of keeping dogs under control at all times as marine wildlife can appear on our beaches at any time. Roaming dogs can be of particular menace and should be reported to DCC Animal Services."

DCC Senior Animal Services officer Peter Hanlin urged dog owners to abide by local regulations and ensure their dog is secure on their property.

He reminded owners it's their responsibility to always have their dog under control at all times.

Under the Marine Mammals Protection Act 1978 penalties range from up to six months' jail or fines of up to $250,000 for killing and harming fur seals or other marine mammals.

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