Protect stock with cluster fences

Protect stock with cluster fences


Opinion
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Wild dogs are a key threat to livestock industries in NSW, particularly in the west of our state, writes NSW Farmers' goat committee chairwoman Katie Davies.

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Wild dogs are a key threat to livestock industries in NSW, particularly in the west of our state. Wool, sheepmeat and rangeland goats are worth over $400 million to the western region of NSW. The devastating impact that wild dogs have on these industries is well-known, particularly the reduction to kidding and lambing rates.

Results from the 2017 Western Local Land Services Regional Landholder survey show that approximately a third of landholders in this region have encountered issues with wild dogs on their properties. The survey also showed that the biggest obstacles for landholders managing wild dogs on their property are lack of time, money, and a shortage of help and resources. NSW Farmers is requesting that all levels of government commit to building cluster fencing to protect these high-value livestock industries and their local economies from the impact of wild dogs.

We recognise that cluster fencing is just one part of an effective wild dog strategy. A successful approach to wild dogs must be multi-faceted, which should include educating, training and upskilling graziers. However, improved infrastructure is vitally important to physically managing the movement of dogs. Fencing would assist in obstructing the dog population’s movement from Queensland into NSW and also define an area for dog management activities.

NSW Farmers is keen to see the Australian government build on the success of co-funded cluster fencing programs carried out in Queensland. This fencing has delivered significant outcomes in managing wild dogs for the benefit of farm businesses and regional economies. Investment also needs to come from the NSW government. 

If the NSW government is serious about growing agriculture by 30 per cent before 2020, then it must invest in cluster fencing to protect valuable livestock industries.

- NSW Farmers’ goat committee chair Katie Davies.

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