The introduction of exclusion fencing within rural Queensland has made a profound difference to this primary industry.
Check out RAPAD’s website Not just a Fence (https://notjustafence.org/) to understand the value of this fencing and how it is saving the outback.
However, the wild dogs are clever, cunning animals and they often roam the outside of the exclusion fences looking for ways to get in for a feed, or a feed and a killing frenzy.
The wild dogs can get into the exclusion fence in several ways.
Virtual Dog Fence
The first is where the exclusion fences crosses a creek or river and where the terrain is difficult to fence. Here the dogs get under the fence in the channels. The channels can’t be fenced as the water physically pushes the fence away when the creeks and rivers run due the strength of the flowing water. Grasses, sticks and branches collect on the fence and it finally gives way creating a means for the dogs to get in.
OPS Australia are developing and trialling a “virtual dog fence” product. This is a smart product that detects wild dogs approaching the channel crossing and then scarers the dogs away from the fence line. Hence created a “virtual” fence.
We have not announced a schedule for trialling or release of our virtual dog fence product.
Cattle grids on roads are convenient, but they do present another way that wild dogs can enter the exclusion fence areas. The wild dogs simply run along the road and hop over the cattle grid into the exclusion area. Various approaches such as flashing Christmas lights and tarps on the road how not proven effective in stopping the dogs. Those cunning dogs still get it!
There are several grid scarer products on the market today and these typically use domestic proximity sensor to detect the approaching animal. We believe that these products quickly lose their effectiveness in outback conditions with the detection range of the sensors losing their range. If the grid scarer cannot detect the wild dog from a reasonable distance, the ability of the product to deter the wild dog is greatly diminished.
OPS Australia are aware of the limitations of current grid scarer products and are developing a grid scarer product featuring with a distinctly different approach.
We have not announced a schedule for trialling or release of our next generation grid scarer product.
Wild dogs can also enter the exclusion fence areas through open gates. These gates can be in remote corners of your property and you may not drive past the gate from some time. During which time the wild dogs have plenty of time to roam the fence, find the open gate and enter for a feed and killing frenzy.
OPS Australia are developing a product that detects when a gate is open, closed and whenever the gate opened or closed. The gate can be in a remote area and the Gate Guardian product can report the status of the gate on the OPS Portal. The Gate Guardian product will alert when your gate is opened or closed. Given this knowledge you can immediately take the necessary action.
Exclusion fencing is in deed saving the outback, and the OPS Australia products are augmenting these exclusion fence areas to ensure the protection of your sheep and cattle.