Virtual fencing - a prescription range animal management tool for the 21st century

TitleVirtual fencing - a prescription range animal management tool for the 21st century
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsAnderson D.M.
Conference NameProceedings of the Tracking Animals with GPS Conference
Date PublishedMarch 12-13, 200
Conference LocationAberdeen, Scotland
ARIS Log Number131267
Keywordsautomate animal management, autonomous animal control, Global Positioning System, radio frequency signals, virtual fencing
AbstractOptimum forage utilization requires herbivores to be moved periodically commensurate with the landscape's productivity. Stationary conventional fencing has been tried alone and with other tools and techniques to affect animal distribution and forage utilization; none consistently permit flexible management in real time. Virtual fencing has the potential to automate animal management and provide autonomous animal control. Virtual fencing systems require animals to wear an electronics package that includes hardware, software and an antenna to receive radio frequency (RF) signals. A patented virtual fence device is described that uses RF signals emanating from navigation satellites of the Global Positioning System (GPS). These signals are used to locate the animal's geographic location and can be logged at programmable intervals of 1 second or more. They are used to build virtual fences that can be programmed to take any geometrical shape, manipulated in space and time and surround areas as wel as individuals. The unit's Geographic Information System (GIS) data continuously compares the animal's location and angle of approach to that of the closest virtual fence. Should an animal attempt to penetrate a virtual fence, algorithms within the unit's central processing unit determine the suite of programmable cues to apply to the animal's left or right side to maximize the animal's distance of separation from a virtual fence in the least amount of travel. The cues begin with the least and progresses to the most aversive, depending on the animal's proximity to the virtual fence. If the animal fails to respond at the highest level of cuing, the unit shuts down in a failsafe manner to prevent unnecessary stress to the animal.