BURROWYE farmer Noel Cheshire was sceptical about the success of baiting for wild dogs and wanted first-hand confirmation about their eating habits.
He knew the best way to have such proof was to set up cameras in the bush.
Mr Cheshire, a previous member of the North East wild dog advisory committee for nine years, received funding from Meat and Livestock Australia and a Victorian government department.
He enlisted the expertise of his son, Wayne, and three motion sensors for a camera were set up in the bush.
Two remote infra-red sensors were set up about 20 metres from the camera and another at its base.
The cameras operated for almost two years with plenty of footage obtained.
Click play to watch some of the footage.
Baits used by departmental dogmen without any poison were buried and none of the wild dogs showed interest.
The baits were then put on top of the ground and the footage revealed foxes and pigs would take them but wild dogs walked straight past.
Mr Cheshire and his son found a road-killed kangaroo and took it to the camera site.
They put some bark over it and three dogs sniffed around it before walking away.
The footage showed one dog tentatively walking towards the kangaroo and then backing away.
A second dog circled around the kangaroo and the third went around in a half circle.
Both Mr Cheshire and his son believe the dogs stayed away because of human scent or they realised there was something different to when they previously passed that area.
“They are extremely cunning and wary,” Wayne Cheshire said.
“If they will not touch a kangaroo, there is absolutely no hope of them taking manufactured baits.”
The Cheshires also have footage of four dogs going past a bait station set up by one of the dogmen near a tree.
One dog went to the tree, smelt it and stood straight over the bait, but walked off.
Pigs arrived at the same bait station and a boar dug up both baits with his snout and ate them.
The footage was shown to politicians at Bill Tilley’s office some time in 2007.
Attempts from within government departments have been made to discredit it, but the Cheshires and other farmers say the footage speaks for itself.
Community feedback showed overwhelming support for the innovative camera project.