Controlling the movement and monitoring of livestock is now possible with virtual, remote fence systems that no longer require actual physical fences.  Instead, developing technology requires only a GPS-enabled animal collar and an app on a smart phone.  The collar sends an acoustic signal to warn the animal as it approaches a virtual boundary, and then an electric stimulus or shock when the animal reaches the virtual boundary.

 

 

 

 

 

The system allows a farmer to create numerous bounded areas where livestock can be kept within, e.g., grassland, or kept away from, e.g., sensitive natural resources or habitat.

Such virtual fencing is particularly helpful in rough, sensitive and hard-to-access land.  And the GPS can help farmers locate stray cows or sheep that may have been injured in a remote area.

 

Some further ideas to explore on Fenceless Grazing:

Is it possible to rely only on auditory signals, without the shock, to be effective?

How does the shock from the fenceless system compare to the shock from an electric fence.

Compare the costs of a virtual fence and a physical fence in an area near you.

 

Sources:

Patrick Barnham, “A moo-ving target: fenceless grazing widens possibilities for cows and wildlife,” The Guardian (3 January 2021).  bit.ly/3urYlFE

“Fenceless Electronic Cattle Grazing System,” Farm Show Magazine (1991).  bit.ly/3hRcKZv

Louise Impey, “Fenceless farming gets closer as first system comes to market,” Future Farming (8 Sept 2017).  bit.ly/3yFuw84

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