Farm Guide VIC : 2008 - 2009
71 Pest Animal Control Fencing - the first line of defence Fence Design Fencing, part of the conventional suite of pest animal controls, is a costly exercise particularly as conventional stock fencing will not act as a deterrent to most pest animals. Government research projects over the years have looked at various methods of fencing to maximise their cost effectiveness. However it is widely agreed that no pest animal management program is complete without a fence. The primary deterrent to pest animals is the physical barrier provided by the fence. Traditionally, fence designs have varied according to the pest animal being managed; however recent developments in wire strength, picket spacing and pre-fabricated wire construction have resulted in a much more uniform approach. Knowledge of effective fence design is being shared among the states, with great success. A fence design which originated in Tasmania as a control for wallabies inhabiting plantations and raiding pasture crops has been adapted and is currently being trialled on the Dog Fence between South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. The same fence design is being considered by the Western Australian government for use in their Dog Fence. So while the pest animal being faced may vary, effective design has meant a common approach can be taken. Now, new developments in fencing technology are ramping up the protection offered to pastoralists and graziers against wild pigs, wallabies and foxes. The humble fence is going through a revival as the first line of defence for farmers against the economic and environmental losses being caused by feral and native animals. Feral pigs and wild dogs cause an estimated $166 million dollars per annum of damage, and the recent hardships imposed by the drought have led to Governments offering tax breaks in the form of pest control fencing in an effort to stem the movement of pest animals as they go in search for more feed. In Victoria, laws that came into effect on 1 January 2008 have allowed a range of outlets to sell 1080 baits, making it easier to buy. However, baits are only part of a suite of measures to protect against wild dogs and other feral animals. Since the late 1880s, fencing has played a pivotal role in the management of pest animals in Australia. The borders of Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland in particular are no strangers to neverending fence lines, established in a desperate attempt to contain the damage that introduced species wreak on crops and native species.
2009 - 2010