The use of technology and livestock collars to help graze semi natural habitat such as commons

Boviguard fenceless fencing system on Rhos Common

Since 2018 PONT has worked with various partners to trial the use of livestock collars to help keep livestock safe and support tracking on large open spaces.

PONT’s first trial was use the Boviguard fenceless fencing system on Rhos Common. Graziers were reluctant to turn cattle due to the fast road that bisects the common, where they had suffered losses in the past. The collars alert the cattle to a fence line laid on the ground, preventing them from being able to cross roads or to reach other dangerous hazards. 

This trial was successful but the technology has now been superseded by the NoFence geofencing system which does not require a cable to be laid on the ground.

Digitanimal collar, unit and associated mobile phone application (Credit: Digitanimal, 2020)

Digitanimal tracking collars on Coity Wallia common

The second trial was of Digitanimal tracking collars on Coity Wallia common, Bridgend. These collars help graziers locate their livestock, enabling easier and faster stock checking on difficult terrain. The trial began in 2019 and the collars are still being used to date by the graziers and by other farmers across Wales. 

Belted Galloways fitted with NoFence geofencing collars.

More recently the No Fence Geofence collars have been trialled on the Gower commons in partnership with Gower Commoners and Natural Resources Wales. Lines are drawn virtually on a mobile phone application, prevent cattle from leaving designated areas. The collar emits an audible warning as the cattle approach these virtual fence lines, followed by an electric pulse if the audible warning is ignored. 

A mobile phone app and online interface provides detailed tracking information. This trail has been a resounding success, the cattle have not been able to venture onto the busy roads across the common, preventing potential road traffic accidents whilst ensuring that important habitats can be grazed.

3 thoughts on “The use of technology and livestock collars to help graze semi natural habitat such as commons”

  1. ken Perry

    Farmer also using no fences collars on Llanwrthwl Common as part of WG funded SMS project with National Trust involvement.

    1. Rose

      Hi William, the collars need to be bought and a yearly subscription paid too. Those we have used in projects so far have been funded via various grants.

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