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The Dog Fence

New or Used: 3 copies from $18.00
New or Used: 3 copies from $18.00

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First the facts: the dog fence starts near the Western Australia–South Australia border and runs 5600 kilometres across three states to end near the coast in southern Queensland, where an enterprising dingo can just walk around the end of the fence. It is the longest barrier ever built. The intention of the men who built the fence was to keep the dingoes on one side and to thereby protect the sheep on huge stations on the southern side. Without the fence, sheep stocks and farmers’ livelihoods would be devastated. Woodford begins at the South Australian end and follows the fence north, meeting the patrolmen who maintain the barrier and many of the graziers who rely on the fence for a living. It is a danger to wildlife, blocking the paths of emu, kangaroos and wild camels, all of which have died in their hundreds on the fence. In southern Queensland the fence was initially built to stop rabbits moving north; with the complete failure of this project, it became a barrier to stop dingoes moving south. Woodford tells the stories of the bush communities along the way and recounts the history of the fence in a warm, humorous manner that shows a deep respect for those who choose to live and work in such arduous country. A great addition to popular history and Australian travel and adventure. Chris Harrington is co-owner of Books in Print. C. 2003 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors

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