State offers $4m to build dog fences in rangelands

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
Wild dogs roaming in Wandanya station in the East Pilbara.
Camera IconWild dogs roaming in Wandanya station in the East Pilbara. Credit: Photographer Wayne Fletcher Copy

The State Government has opened a $4 million grant funding program which will support pastoral groups to build exclusion fencing to keep out wild dogs.

Pastoral groups will be able to apply for funding grants for the construction of wild dog exclusion cell fences around many pastoral leases in the rangelands to help protect sheep and goats.

The funds will contribute up to 50 per cent towards the cost of fence construction, and will be given to up to three successful applicants who commit to maintenance of the fence and wild dog management within the cell.

Agriculture Minister Alannah MacTiernan said wild dogs were estimated to cause losses of $25 million a year to rangelands sheep and goat production.

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“Stock deaths and injuries can be traumatic for landholders and regional communities,” she said.

“Keeping wild dogs at bay with exclusion fencing will enable pastoralists to re-establish small stock such as sheep and goats on their pastoral stations, allowing struggling pastoralists in the southern rangelands to return to a more financially and ecologically sustainable position.”

Ms MacTiernan said it would also help to rebuild dwindling sheep numbers and support local meat processors.

“This grant program will also help us determine whether cell fencing can protect and renew small livestock enterprises, and deliver a sustained benefit to industry and regional communities in WA,” she said.

Meanwhile, Pastoralists and Graziers’ Association president Tony Seabrook said funding to tackle wild dogs was welcomed but did not go far enough.

“Wild dog number have continued to expand and move further south and tackling this problem required a multi-pronged approach of fences, doggers, and baiting,” he said, and called for Federal funds to help.

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