The Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia (PGA) is calling on the Federal Government to introduce a $200 per scalp bounty on wild dogs, which it says equates to $6 million over three years.
The PGA believes there's around 30,000 wild dogs in WA, a figure which the WA Department of Agriculture and Food does not confirm or deny.
Pastoralists in the northern rangelands have been fighting wild dogs for years.
But now the dogs have started causing all sorts of problems for wheat and sheep farmers on the outer edges of WA's agricultural region.
Gerard Berry-Porter has been a dogger for 30 years and has worked in WA for more than a decade, mostly around Wiluna and Meekatharra.
For the last twelve months he has also patrolled the state barrier fence from Lake Moore to Kalbarri, which is 570 kilometres.
"Dogs are more of a problem than we think. The dogs are there in big numbers," he said.
"For these fellas down here, as in the farmers, it's new to them and they're learning as they're going, they're realising that the dogs have been here for a lot longer than they think and they're breeding and they're breeding here now."
Will Scott is the PGA's wild dog spokesperson.
"The bounty system (which the PGA is proposing) is not the be all and end all, it's part of the tool box that we need," he said.
"What you've got to understand in the southern rangelands, in (the year) 2000, there was between two to six million small stock and now there's basically none, there's a sprinkling along the Gascoyne coast and that's it.
"The whole industry has been destroyed and I get totally sick of people saying 'that this won't work and that won't work' when we've lost all our stock.
"My brother and I, Gary my brother, in Mount Magnet, we've got two stations, about a million acres and three years ago we had about 35,000 goats, all healthy goats and now I'd be flat out filling a truck load," he said.
"What's happened to my 35,000 goats, what's happened to my livelihood, what's happened to all my neighbour's stock, what's happened to all the livelihoods in the southern rangelands, they've been destroyed."
Goodlands farmer Robin Hestor, now in his 70's, says he can remember when a bounty system worked very well.
However many doggers don't think a bounty is such a good idea.
Experienced dogger Gerard Berry-Porter worked in Queensland when there was a bounty worth $550 per scalp.
He's concerned a bounty is open to fraud.
"Scalping is just ad hoc, from what I've seen with my own experiences it's open to fraud and that's been proved in the eastern states, not knocking the eastern states, I've worked there under that system and it opens up a whole gamut of political questions as well."
Waddi Robinson is from Doorawarrah station. He'd like to see a bounty re-instated but he has his doubts about it working because he thinks bounties can encourage people to farm dogs, in other words not kill the bitches when they're ready to drop because that's future income you're killing.
Viv Read is the Director of Invasive Species with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA.
On the possibility of introducing a bounty he says there are problems with them.
"There are the transactional costs which are, with bounty systems, quite high, but importantly it takes the focus away from keeping the focus on managing the impact on the animals more than hunting down the dogs in places where the impact may or may not be."
Mr Read says "it takes the focus off the more efficient strategic baiting program, which is what we are promoting and proven to be effective."
A few years ago the state government decided to allocate $8.82 million of Royalties for Regions funding to help the fight against wild dogs.
The old state barrier fence will be upgraded and extended around the Esperance area. ($5.17 million over 5 years)
Money will also be spent on strategic wild dog control including employing eight extra doggers (taking the number from 14 to 22 doggers) for the pastoral regions. ($3.65 million over five years)
It could take up to a year before the whole fence is complete but the general public is being warned to stay away from it or risk hefty fines.
Craig Robins is the project manager for the state barrier fence and he says they don't want anyone near it because it's basically a danger zone.
"We're using firearms on a regular basis for control, there is heavy machinery working out there periodically, there's traps and doggers ...and it is a high risk area."
He says if anyone is found along the fence they could be fined $2000.
In 2010 the WA Government released a report into the sustainability of pastoralism in WA's southern rangelands.
The wild dog problem was talked about in that document.
Mining and pastoral MP Wendy Duncan played a big role in compiling that document and she says when they looked at all the research, they found that wild dog bounties haven't worked in the past, so she's not convinced they will in the future.
But she does know some Goldfields pastoralists who have offered their own bounty money for dog scalps.
The following statement was sent to the ABC in response to the PGA's request for Federal Government funding for a dog bounty. It was provided by a spokesperson for the the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Joe Ludwig:
“State and territory governments and individual landholders have primary responsibility for the management of wild dogs.
“The respective roles of governments and other stakeholders are recognised and articulated in the nationally agreed Australian Pest Animal Strategy. This strategy provides the national framework for managing wild dogs.
“The Australian Government provides strategic investment in research activities that develop and promote improved approaches to the management and monitoring of agricultural pest animals including wild dogs.
“The Australian Government provides funding through the Australian Pest Animal Research Program which supports, for example, the development of ‘FeralScan’ and ‘PestSmart’ and the role of a National Wild Dog Facilitator.
“Since 2006, the Australian Government has provided more than $1.2 mil (GST exclusive) under the Australian Pest Animal Research Program to fund wild dog projects that directly and indirectly address the management of wild dogs across Australia.
“The Australian Government also supports the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, to promote and build capacity in developing and implementing strategic management approaches to control wild dogs.”