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Poster : Understanding interactions between autonomous animal control and temperament when cattle are subjected to virtual fencing applications

Publication Date
  • 090600 Electrical And Electronic Engineering
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Grazing Cattle
  • Sensory Stimuli
  • Electric Shock
  • Vibration
  • Sound
  • Fencing
  • Design


Virtual fencing has the potential to control grazing livestock. Understanding and refi ning the cues that can alter behaviour is an integral part of autonomous animal control. A series of tests have been completed to explore the relationship between temperament and control. Prior to exposure to virtual fencing control the animals were scored for temperament using fl ight speed and a sociability index using contact logging devices. The behavioural response of 30, Belmont Red steers were observed for behavioural changes when presented with cues prior to receiving an electrical stimulation. A control and four treatments designed to interrupt the animal’s movement down an alley were tested. The treatments consisted of sound plus electrical stimulation, vibration plus electrical stimulation, a visual cue plus electrical stimulation and electrical stimulation by itself. The treatments were randomly applied to each animal over fi ve consecutive trials. A control treatment in which no cues were applied was used to establish a basal behavioural pattern. A trial was considered completed after each animal had been retained behind the cue barrier for at least 60 sec. All cues and electrical stimulation were manually applied from a laptop located on a portable 3.5 m tower located immediately outside the alley. The electric stimulation consisted of 1.0 Kv of electricity. Electric stimulation, sound and vibration along with the Global Position System (GPS) hardware to autonomously record the animal’s path within the alley were recorded every second.

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