The Dog Fence in South Australia

The 5,400 kilometre dog fence protects sheep industry from wild dogs and dingoes. The fence stretches across South Australia (SA) from the Great Australian Bight near Fowlers Bay, borders New South Wales and then turns north and east across Queensland to the Darling Downs.

The South Australian Dog Fence was established under the Dog Fence Act 1946 to stop dingoes migrating into land used for sheep production.

Rebuilding the dog fence

More than two-thirds of the South Australian Dog Fence is more than 100 years old. It has been degraded by kangaroos, emus, feral camels, wild dogs, weather events and sand erosion.

The Dog Fence is being rebuilt in SA to protect South Australia’s $4.3 billion livestock industry.

Find out more about the project to rebuild the Dog Fence.

Virtual dog fence

Experience the Dog Fence by viewing 1,781 pictures of the Dog Fence by:

Ownership of the fence

The Dog Fence in South Australia is owned by:

  • Some pastoral lessees, whose properties are inside and adjacent to the fence.
  • Local Dog Fence boards, which maintain the Dog Fence on behalf of pastoral lessees.

Dog Fence owners must keep the fence dog proof and destroy wild dogs in the vicinity of it.


The Dog Fence Board is the governing body set up to administer and manage the SA Dog Fence and the four Local boards maintain sections of the fence.

Maintenance and inspection

Local Dog Fence boards have contractors who patrol the fence every 14 days to:

  • undertake repairs
  • place poison baits along the fence line
  • destroy dogs in the vicinity of the fence.

The Dog Fence Board inspects half of the fence every year to:

  • identify sections that need updating or replacing
  • prioritise capital works.

Dog fence inspection reports summarise the condition of the fence.

Funding for patrols and maintenance

The Board ensures that the fence is patrolled and maintained using funds from:

  • Rates paid by landholdings greater than 10 square kilometres located in the list of rateable hundreds (PDF 166.0 KB or DOCX 104.3 KB), as shown on the map of rateable areas (PNG 54.8 KB).
  • A levy paid on all sheep sold in South Australia. This levy is collected for the Board by the Sheep Advisory Group of SA (SASAG).
  • The South Australian Government, which matches the above rates and levies on a dollar for dollar basis.
  • A levy paid by the properties immediately outside the Dog Fence.

Collection of rates

The Dog Fence Board collect rates in accordance with the Dog Fence Act 1946 on all landholdings greater than 10 square kilometres in the rateable area. The Board have developed the following principles in relation to the payment of rates:

  • All landholdings greater than 10 square kilometres within the rateable area are subject to rates, regardless of land tenure. This includes, but is not limited to, land used for livestock production, farming, cropping, private conservation, parks and reserves, cultural use, mining and exploration, lifestyle, or investment. With the exception of the salt lakes of Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner, the Dog Fence Board do not exempt non-livestock production properties from paying rates.
  • The Dog Fence Board understand that due to influences outside of rate payer control, rate payers may experience financial hardship. The Dog Fence Board consider rate payer circumstances on a case by case basis and where genuine financial hardship is identified, the Board may offer modification to payment terms to ease financial burden.

Dog Fence Rates are critical to the effective management and maintenance of the Dog Fence. In accordance with the Dog Fence Act 1946 the Dog Fence Board may apply fines of an additional 10 per cent on any unpaid amount within 28 days after the day on which the amount became due and payable. Outstanding accounts will be recovered through a debt collection agency, or by action in a court.

Holding the Line: A history of the South Australian Dog Fence Board, 1947–2012

"Holding the Line" by Leith Yelland, describes the history of the Dog Fence Board and was commissioned to mark the centenary of the Federation of South Australia.  This history records the impact of dingos on the State's sheep industry and the measures undertaken by pastoralists and government to mitigate these impacts.

Holding the Line: A history of the South Australian Dog Fence Board, 1947–2012 (PDF 2.4 MB)


If you have any questions about the South Australian Dog Fence please contact:

Marty Bower
Dog Fence Program Manager
Phone: (08) 8429 3459

Page Last Reviewed: 11 Dec 2019
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