A so­lu­tion for wild dogs

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Rural Weekly - CAS­SAN­DRA GLOVER Cas­san­dra.glover@ru­ral­weekly.com.au

CLUS­TER fenc­ing has been chang­ing the liveli­hoods of farm­ers around Aus­tralia by pro­vid­ing pro­tec­tion against wild dogs.

How­ever, Lon­greach farmer Keith Gor­don said some is­sues still could be fixed.

Mr Gor­don co-founded Out­back Prop­erty Solutions with elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer An­drew Bar­ton and be­gan de­vel­op­ing a prod­uct that could de­tect the pres­ence of wild dogs and de­ter them.

The idea orig­i­nated in Lon­greach when Mr Gor­don re­alised the wild dogs were still get­ting onto his prop­erty through the chan­nel coun­try.

He then con­tacted Mr Bar­ton who works as an en­gi­neer in Bris­bane. The pair grew up to­gether and de­cided to team up to de­velop the soft­ware.

“They (clus­ter fences) work re­ally well on the flat coun­try but, where it goes into chan­nel coun­try, it be­comes more dif­fi­cult,” Mr Bar­ton said.

“As the water rises, it pushes the fence away. So the fences still need to be able to cross the chan­nel pad­docks.

“So the soft­ware de­tects when a dog is com­ing close and de­ters the dog away. It cre­ates a vir­tual fence.”

The prod­uct will come in two parts – Dog De­tect and Dog De­ter.

Dog De­tect uses cam­eras mounted on poles, pow­ered by so­lar pan­els and bat­ter­ies, that are strate­gi­cally placed through­out the pad­dock in or­der to de­tect the dogs.

Dog De­ter will then use lights and sounds to de­ter the dogs.

Mr Bar­ton said as far as he knew, the vir­tual fenc­ing would be a world-first.

“We’re de­vel­op­ing the first part of the soft­ware which is the part that de­tects the dogs. This is the first step in a multi-step pro­gram of work,” Mr Bar­ton said.

“We’re do­ing a soft launch in the Dog De­tect. We want to do an ex­ten­sive pe­riod of tri­alling be­fore we make it com­mer­cially avail­able.

“De­cem­ber last year we did the first main tri­als in Lon­greach. To date it’s only been tri­alled in one spot west of Lon­greach, and now we want to go to the next phase and trial it on lots of dif­fer­ent sites.

“We’re look­ing for peo­ple who want to be in­volved in tri­alling the prod­uct. Even though it’s come from cen­tral west, it’s not ex­clu­sive to the cen­tral west.”

Mr Bar­ton said, ev­ery six months, the de­vel­op­ment team stayed with the farm­ers who were tri­alling the prod­uct to bet­ter de­velop the soft­ware.

“The tech­ni­cal team is in Bris­bane and then we have the con­nec­tion to the land to trial it,” he said.

Mr Bar­ton hoped that Dog De­tect would be com­mer­cially avail­able in the next 12 months, and that tri­alling of Dog De­ter would oc­cur in that time. Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est are wel­come for those keen to take part in the trial pro­gram. For de­tails call

(07) 4658 9227.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

VIR­TUAL FENCE: Keith Gor­don holds the OPS Dog De­tect sen­sor.

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