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Clever collar keeps cows in a virtual paddock

Cows wearing wear battery-powered collarsAfter three years of research, Australian scientists have come up with a solution to keeping the animals in - the virtual fence.

"It's like an electric fence, except it's invisible," Andrew Fisher, leader of a research team at the CSIRO's Livestock Industries division in Armidale, said yesterday.

A farmer would create the virtual fence by mapping out the proposed boundary using a computer linked to a satellite global positioning system.

The livestock to be fenced in would wear battery-powered collars around their necks. If a cow, for example, wandered within a metre or two of the virtual fence the collar, fitted with a GPS chip, would emit a warning hum. If the cow ignored the sound and crossed the line it would receive a mild electric shock, less powerful than those used by electric fences.

Dr Fisher said experiments showed that cattle took less than an hour to learn to back off when they heard the warning hum.

He expected sheep would be equally easy to train.

Link & Image: Smh
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