Wild dogs and dingoes

Wild dog is the term used to describe pure dingoes, hybrid dingoes and feral domestic dogs. How these animals are managed in South Australia depends on their location to the Dog Fence:

  • outside of the fence dingoes are managed as a native animal
  • inside the fence, dingoes, their hybrids and other wild-living dogs are managed as pest animals.

The impact of wild dogs on South Australia's livestock industries is an issue of significant concern. Inside the Dog Fence, wild dogs kill and injure livestock, causing severe social and economic impacts on pastoral communities and regional South Australia.

New management measures under the drought program to tackle wild dogs

South Australian pastoralists and regional communities are significantly affected by drought. Wild dogs in these regions cause injury and death to livestock, nationally impacting producers up to $90 million annually.

The South Australian Government has responded to the issue of wild dogs by introducing:

  • $1.2m trapper program (since 1 July 2018)
  • $200,000 baiting program
  • $25 million rebuild of the Dog Fence.

To help deal with the threat of wild dogs, new management measures are being introduced under the $21 million Drought Support Package.

New measures include:

  • adding an additional full-time wild dog trapper
  • investing further into the wild dog baiting program
  • a bounty scheme, where drought affected landholders are able to recover $120 per wild dog.

Public consultation on the management of wild dogs is now closed

Wild dog populations and distributions have increased inside the Dog Fence in South Australia over the past two decades. This is severely impacting on livestock industries.

The Marshall Liberal Government is working to eradicate wild dogs inside South Australia’s Dog Fence and undertook a two month public consultation on potential policy changes to achieve this goal. Outcomes from the consultation will be published in May 2020.

The revised Declared Animal Policy (Wild dogs and dingoes) (PDF 1.8 MB) provides strategies to manage wild dog populations across South Australia.

Controlling wild dogs on your property

Landholders and land managers must destroy:

Control methods

The Dog Fence, baiting and dog trapping are the main ways that Government and industry work to reduce the impact of wild dogs in South Australia

Wild dogs can also be controlled by:

  • shooting
  • humane trapping
  • coordinated baiting
  • Canid Pest Ejector.

Baiting with 1080 and PAPP

Landholders and managers can control wild dogs on their property using:

  • 1080 baits
  • 1080 capsules for Canid Pest Ejectors
  • DOGABAIT PAPP (para-aminopropiophenone) baits.

Contact your regional NRM board for information on how to get, store and use 1080 or PAPP baits on your property.

Landholders and managers are reminded that they will have to sign an Approval to Possess 1080 and PAPP Bait form when they collect baits from their local NRM officer. If they can't collect baits in person, they must nominate a collecting agent and fill out an 'Approval for Nominated Agent to Collect form (PDF 101.0 KB). The agent must bring this completed form with them to collect the baits.

Notifying neighbours before using poison baits

You must notify all neighbours before using any poison baits on a property.

A neighbour notification letter template is available for:

All notifications must be recorded on a Neighbour notification record sheet (PDF 445.1 KB or DOCX 22.9 KB) and kept for 2 years.

Using 1080 and PAPP safely

The Directions for Use, Label and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) must always be followed when using baits:

Trapping of wild dogs

Control of wild dogs is most effective when baiting, shooting and trapping are used as part of an integrated control program. Trapping is particularly useful for targeting dogs that avoid baits.

Land managers are encouraged to apply for the services of a wild dog trapper on their property.

Trapping and the use of strychnine

Under the Regulations of the Animal Welfare Act 2012, strychnine must be applied to the jaws of leg-hold traps to deliver a rapid death to trapped wild dogs. Strychnine is supplied to landholders by the NRM office solely for this purpose. Landholders must apply for a permit (PDF 126.6 KB) from SA Health to possess strychnine.

Using strychnine safely

The Directions for Use, Label and SDS must always be followed when using strychnine.

Reporting wild dog sightings

To help best direct dog control resources, it is critical that land managers across the state keep us up to date on wild dog sightings. Other relevant information such as whether the dogs are impacting on your livestock is also important intelligence in planning effective wild dog control.

Reports can be made to PIRSA and local landscape boards through the Wild Dog Scan app.

Maintaining the Dog Fence on your property

Landholders are responsible for the inspection and maintenance of any part of the Dog Fence that sits on their property.

Fence maintenance inspections should be carried out at least every 14 days.

Keeping dingoes as pets

It is illegal to keep dingoes and hybrid dingoes as pets in South Australia as explained in the Policy on management of Dingo populations in South Australia 2011.

If your dog looks like a dingo or hybrid dingo, the legislation in South Australia treats it as a dingo or hybrid dingo. However, there are other breeds that may also look like a dingo. It is the dog owner's responsibility to prove that the dog is not a dingo. This can be done by getting a DNA breed test. Not all companies that offer DNA breed tests can test for dingo, including DNA My Dog. A DNA breed certificate will only be accepted from a company that can test for dingoes, such as ADVANCE and Orivet.


Wild dog control advice

Should now read: Landscape South Australia website (Regional Landscape Boards)

State Wild Dog Coordinator

Phone: (08) 8429 2398
Email: PIRSA.InvasiveSpecies@sa.gov.au

Dog fence advice

South Australian Dog Fence Board
Phone: (08) 8429 3459

More information

Page Last Reviewed: 09 Oct 2020
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