Electric pest fencing

Electric fencing could be the key to a pest free future for farmers on the Central Tablelands, with twenty two landholders now in the process of installing electric fence barriers as part of a Local Land Services Feral Animal Exclusion Fencing project.

Landholders are becoming increasingly frustrated by feral pests and are looking for new management options according to Paul Gibb, Senior Land Services Officer (Biosecurity) with Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

“We have spoken with producers who have suffered massive stock losses from wild dogs, and unsustainable grazing pressure during drought from kangaroos and deer,” said Paul.

“When these people tell you electrified pest fencing has made the difference in enabling them to stay in business, that’s a very compelling argument,” said Paul.

Fiona Ostini, along with her husband Greg and son Brian, are installing three kilometres of three wire electric fence offset against an existing fence line on their property "Uralba" at Mullion Creek.

Fiona says wild dog attacks have been increasing, and pigs are also a serious problem, particularly during the current dry spell.

“The pigs not only damage our fences, they have also been eating the very expensive barley and sheep nuts we’re feeding out for stock,” said Fiona.

“We’ve caught the pigs on camera hunting the sheep away and eating the stock feed, and if a sow finds a self feeder full of grain, she will bring back her whole litter of piglets to eat.”

“We’re also battling increasing numbers of hungry deer that will hunt sheep away from the fodder we provide.”

However Fiona says the electrified pest fencing alone won’t solve the problem of marauding dogs, pigs, and deer.

“The fence is part of a broader integrated strategy. We will keep baiting and doing our regular pest management work.”

According to Local Land Services’ Paul Gibb, landholders who have installed electric pest control fencing have reported a significant reduction in grazing pressure from pest species and predation by wild dogs.

“Landholders we’ve visited in southern regions say the electric fencing has been a game changer, particularly for sheep production, and we’re hoping we’ll get similarly positive results in the Central Tablelands area,” said Paul.

Landholders across 22 properties have received assistance through Local Land Services to construct a total of 144 km of exclusion fencing to counter feral pest incursions.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services is supporting electrified exclusion fencing trials in conjunction with ongoing pest management programs such as coordinated aerial and ground baiting.

Media contact: Cassie Jones, Central Tablelands Local Land Services, 0408 504 825

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