Animal Control-What constitutes a reliable cue to stop animal movement?

TitleAnimal Control-What constitutes a reliable cue to stop animal movement?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBishop-Hurley G.J., Swain D.L., Anderson D.M., Corke P
Conference NameSociety for Range Management 59th Annual Meeting
Date PublishedFebruary 12-17,
Conference LocationVancouver, British Columbia
ARIS Log Number185616
Keywordsanimal control, animal movement, free-range, virtual fencing
AbstractControlling free-ranging livestock requires low-stress cues to alter animal behaviour. Recently modulated sound and electric shock were demonstrated to be effective in controlling free-ranging cattle. In this study the behaviour of 60, 300 kg Belmont Red heifers were observed for behavioural changes when presented cues designed to impede their movement through an alley. The heifers were given an overnight drylot shrink off feed but not drinking water prior to being tested. Individual cattle were allowed to move down a 6.5 m wide alley towards a pen of peers and feed located 71 m from their point of release. Each animal was allowed to move through the alley unimpeded five times to establish a basal behavioural pattern. Animals were then randomly assigned to treatments consisting of sound plus shock, vibration plus shock, a visual cue plus shock, shock by itself and a control. The time each animal required to reach the pen of peers and feed was recorded. If the animal was prevented from reaching the pen of peers and feed by not penetrating through the 'cue barrior' at set points along the alley for at least 60 sec the test was stopped and the animal was returned to peers located behind the release pen. Cues and shock were manually applied from a laptop while animals were observed from a 3.5 m tower located outside the alley. Electric shock, sound, vibration and Global Position System (GPS) hardware were housed in a neck collar. Results and implications will be discussed.