• Rikki Lambert

Death from the skies - aerial and mandatory baiting after Tiffany wrecked dog fence


A White Cliffs, NSW farmer inspects a wild dog caught in a trap in 2018

Over 2,000 baits will be dropped from the sky across northern South Australia after flash flooding from former tropical cyclone Tiffany wiped out sections of the Dog Fence.

The baits will be deployed to ensure wild dogs don't move further south after over 250 kilometres of the Dog Fence between Coober Pedy and the Ikara/Flinders Ranges sustained approximately 40 breaches.

Primary Industries Minister David Basham said wild dogs already exact a punishing toll on livestock and producers:

“Wild dogs rip nearly $89 million a year from the Australian economy with South Australian producers losing more than 20,000 sheep to wild dogs in 2018 alone.
“The Marshall Liberal Government has a multi-pronged approach when it comes to tackling the issue of wild dogs, the additional baiting efforts complement our historic $25 million rebuild of the South Australian Wild Dog Fence as well as our trapping and bounty programs.
“While the floods washed away parts of the old Dog Fence and eroded tracks along it, fortunately the new Dog Fence has withstood the flood waters, suffering minimal damage. Three professional wild dog trappers are ready to swing into action and as soon as allowed they will be deployed to fix the fence in affected regions when access is restored.”

South Australia also claims to be the first to mandate state-wide baiting for wild dogs.



Wild dogs scalped by bounty hunting farmers in St George, Qld in 2018

Minister Basham said the development of the new baiting standards enables the strategic targeting for removal of wild dog safe havens and breeding areas:

“Safe havens have traditionally created refuges and breeding opportunities for wild dogs, undermining the efforts of neighbouring properties with their wild dog control operations, potentially leading to tensions within the community.
“With these new standards including mandated baiting, including areas previously identified as safe havens, it has enabled a strategic reform that provides the necessary lever for enforcing compliance when needed across the state.”

New standards are as follows:

Region 1 (vast areas inside the Dog Fence from the far west coast to the NSW border): irrespective of wild dog activity, all landowners must lay one lethal bait per kilometre of vehicle track in autumn and in spring. If wild dog activity is observed, landowners must report it to the local landscape board and lay one lethal bait per 200 metres of vehicle track within 10 kilometres of the activity.

Region 2 (Robertstown to Hawker and areas surrounding Ceduna): if wild dog activity is observed, landowners must report it to the local landscape board and neighbouring properties. The landowner and landowner of neighbouring properties must lay ten lethal baits per 100 hectares of land, or one bait per 200 metres of established track.

Region 3 (Ngarkat Conservation Park and surrounding areas): if wild dog activity is observed, landowners must report it to the local landscape board and neighbouring properties.

  • Within Ngarkat Conservation Park – owners must enact the baiting plan, which includes baiting four times per year at specified intervals

  • Outside of Ngarkat Conservation Park – the landowners and landowners of neighbouring properties must lay baits at 500-metre intervals along all vehicle tracks.

Region 4 (all other areas inside the Dog Fence, excluding Kangaroo Island): If a landowner becomes aware of wild dog activity, they must report it to the local landscape board and to neighbouring landowners, then comply with instructions from the board.

Region 5 (35-kilometre buffer of land running along the outside of the SA Dog Fence): Irrespective of evidence of wild dog activity, all landowners in this region must lay a minimum of 10 baits within a 10-kilometre radius of each man-made, active water point in autumn and in spring.