Cattle-herding device gets A.R.S. 'OK' for licensing

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — Krimar of Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, which is interested in marketing its non-wire, Directional Virtual Fencing technology for cows linked to global positioning, has received the go ahead to license it from the Agricultural Research Service. The system transmits electronic cues to a cow's ears so that it will move in a preferred direction without inflicting physical harm, wrote Dennis O’Brien of the A.R.S.

This patented system is intended to be used as an animal management tool — not to replace a rancher's expertise. Under this system, cows are located with global positioning, which sends auditory signals, such as a human voice, that can be raised or lowered in volume. Commands can vary from familiar "gathering songs" sung by cowboys during manual round-ups to sirens designed to get cows to move or avoid entering forbidden areas, according to the A.R.S. Ranchers can also give cues at any time and track movements from a computer.

Dean M. Anderson, an A.R.S. animal scientist, is currently working a commercially viable prototype that features a stereo headset around each ear at the Jornada Experimental Range in Las Cruces, N.M.

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