The Battle Against Wild Dogs - Featuring Will Roberts, QLD

The battle against wild dogs, has taken a big step forward with the construction of a 1.8 metre-high fence around 50 properties covering a total area of about 400,000 hectares in the Morven district.

Costed at $6000/km, the materials used in the fence were funded through the South West NRM group. The 46 landholders provided $1800 in kind and labour to construct the barrier.

Will Roberts, Victoria Downs, Morven, who explained the benefits of the fence to Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps, said the fence was already having a significant impact.

"There is no way we will ever be able to stop every dog from coming onto this country" Mr Roberts said.

"But if we can stop 95 out of 100 dogs we will be well ahead.

"There has also been a significant drop in the number of roos, which makes a very big difference to the grazing pressure on this country."

The fence is constructed of 200m-long rolls of Clipex netting and features the same 'non-slip' knot used on deer fencing.

The netting has 16 horizontal wires with the vertical wires spaced every 10cm.

The three lowest rows are coated with polyethylene plastic and form an apron lying on the ground. The structure is mounted on 2.25m Clipex posts, sunk 30cm into the ground.

"The apron better follows the contour of the ground and prevents animals from digging," Mr Roberts said.

A high-tensile barbed wire runs along the top of the fence.

"Some dogs will learn to climb," Mr Roberts said.

"If they put a paw on one of these barbs they are going to pull away pretty quickly."

NRM chairman Mark O'Brien said the he was thrilled how a collaborative area management model was changing the approach to sustainable grazing in the mulga regions.

"I am thrilled the Queensland government has supported this initiative, which requires graziers to work together to solving many of the ongoing problems they face," Mr O'Brien said.

"Now we will be able to make faster and deeper inroads into the problems that restrict sustainable, profitable agriculture in the region."

Ongoing maintenance of the fence is funded by the landholders with a 3c an acre per annum levy.

Written by: Mark Phelps - The Queensland Country Life

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