Lift in battle against dogs

Ian Campbell, Tim Wood and David Star at work on the wild dog exclusion fence near Tallangatta.
Ian Campbell, Tim Wood and David Star at work on the wild dog exclusion fence near Tallangatta.

A CRUCIAL section of the wild dog exclusion fence near Tallangatta has been upgraded.

Department of Environment and Primary Industries dog controller Ian “Bluey” Campbell was in charge of works and had support from eight members of the Tallangatta community’s wild dog control group.

A four-kilometre section of Fire Brace Track was cleared of scrub and weeds, with the bottom wire of the fence raised to increase the reliability of electricity supply.

DEPI’s wild dog program manager Michael Bretherton said electric exclusion fencing, if well built and maintained, could provide farmers with an effective first line of defence against wild dog predation of livestock.

“Its value increases when neighbours co-operate and link to existing fencing or help construct community electric exclusion fences to provide wider protection across farming districts,” Mr Bretherton said.

“Such fencing is further enhanced when used in combination with other wild dog control methods such as trapping, baiting, shooting and good animal husbandry.”

The opportunity to upgrade Tallangatta’s wild dog exclusion fence was identified following a planning zone workshop.

He said private and public land managers working together must be highlighted in the ongoing effort to reduce valuable stock losses and social impacts caused by these established and opportunistic predators.

He said many things could be done to reduce wild dog attacks, including moving lambing and calving to paddocks away from known wild dog pathways or access, swiftly disposing of dead livestock, watching for changes in livestock habits which may indicate the presence of dogs and maintaining an exclusion electric fence.

Trapping and shooting, along with baiting and the use of guard animals like maremma dogs and alpacas, are other ways of countering wild dogs.

Mr Bretherton said wild dog activity should be reported to the senior wild dog controller or DEPI on 136 186.