The 5,400 kilometre dog fence protects sheep grazing districts from wild dogs and dingoes. It stretches across South Australia (SA) from the Great Australian Bight near Fowlers Bay, borders the grazing properties into New South Wales and then turns north and east across Queensland to the Darling Downs. It is the longest continuous fence in the world.
The South Australian section of the Dog Fence supports and protects the South Australian sheep industry by stopping dingoes from 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. Many sections have been degraded by kangaroos, emus, feral camels, wild dogs, weather events and sand erosion.
The dog fence is being rebuilt in SA to continue to protect South Australia’s $4.3 billion livestock industry from the threat of wild dogs.
Ownership of the fence
The Dog Fence in South Australia is owned by:
- Some pastoral lessees, whose properties are on the southern side of the fence and adjacent to it.
- The local dog fence boards (local boards) maintain the Dog Fence on behalf of many pastoral lessees inside the Dog Fence.
All Dog Fence owners must:
- maintain and keep the fence dog proof
- destroy wild dogs in the vicinity of the fence.
The Dog Fence Board (the Board) is the governing body set up to administer and manage the South Australian section of the Dog Fence.
Local boards are established to patrol and maintain the Dog Fence. There are currently four Local boards in South Australia, each with responsibility for a section of the fence.
Maintenance and inspection
On behalf of the fence owners, local boards have contract patrolmen who patrol the fence every 14 days to:
- undertake repairs
- place poison baits along the fence line
- destroy dogs sighted in the vicinity of the fence.
The Dog Fence Board also inspects approximately half of the fence every year to:
- identify sections that need updating or replacing
- prioritise and assign capital funds to sections of the fence.
Dog fence inspection reports detail the condition of the fence and inspection activities.
Funding for patrols and maintenance
The fence has been maintained, re-aligned, and upgraded since 1947.
The Board ensures that the fence is regularly patrolled and maintained with funds received from:
- A levy paid by properties greater than 10 square kilometres in unincorporated areas, inside of the Dog Fence. The levy also applies to properties in incorporated areas that are close to the unincorporated areas. This levy is enforced by the Dog Fence Act 1946. The lands to which the levy applies can be seen in this list where Dog Fence rates are payable (), or on this map showing where Dog Fence rates are payable ().
- 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 levies on a dollar for dollar basis.
- A levy paid by properties outside the Dog Fence, where they use the fence as a boundary for their lands.
For any issues or queries relating to the South Australian Dog Fence please contact:
Principal Biosecurity Officer, Pest Animals
Phone: (08) 8429 0803