WHILE sheep producers welcomed the State government's investment to implementing a wild dog action plan, producers in the Bullfinch area hope some funding will be used to restore a gap in the State Barrier Fence, created by removing a cattle grid.
Bullfinch farmer Ron Burrow said his was one of many properties in the firing line, where dogs were entering a gap, 30 kilometres north east of Southern Cross, in the refurbished fence.
Mr Burrow said a cattle grid had been removed and filled in due to construction concerns and dogs moving south had found the gap in the fence, allowing them to enter agricultural land.
"Our doggers have set up cameras and have witnessed the dogs walking through the gap," Mr Burrow said.
"It had become a huge problem in the area, and some people have had to move their sheep to other properties.
"I have found five dead sheep, but my neighbours have lost about 65 that we know of.
"It terms of value, they are worth more than $100 a head, it adds up, not to mention the stress on the flock, the implications of that and the chaos of getting neighbouring sheep mixed up."
Mr Burrow said the issue had been getting worse in recent months.
"Since they filled in the grid on the Koolyanobbing/ Southern Cross Road we have had an issue - and we are right in the firing line," he said.
Mr Burrow hoped the recent investment of $19.94 million to support WA's livestock industries and help landowners to control predatory wild dogs and other agricultural pests in regional areas, would include maintenance of the gap.
"The State government needs to pick up the bill for this grid," he said.
"The department and previous ministers have been made aware of it.
"Some of that investment needs to be allocated to all grids, otherwise what's the point of maintaining a fence if there is a clear gap.
"The fence is great, it was refurbished to a high standard, but there is more than a road width gap and those dogs follow the fence south and they find those gaps.
"It is just creating a funnel for them into the agricultural area and it's a mess here."
Local farmer John Nicoletti said he had to move his flock from his north Bullfinch property to another one, as he had lost more than 100 sheep in the past month.
"There are some cunning dogs out there," he said.
"The two local doggers are always catching them and monitor the area.
"We had a few issues last year, but it's worse now."
Mr Nicoletti said his sheep were on edge and won't be performing.
"I like my sheep and when they are getting chased by dogs they are not relaxed eating and growing," he said.