Olds (Rural Roots Canada) – Research is starting at Olds College on whether no fence collars for cattle being used in Norway can be adapted to work here in North America.

Laio Sobrinho is a Research Associate in Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production at the college.

He says the no-fence collars have just arrived at the college, and they will be testing them over the next few months during the grazing season.

“We want to know if the animals will actually behave as we expect them in response to the electrified stimuli from the virtual fencing collars,” Sobrinho said.

He says they want to know if the connectivity that we have here in our region is sufficient to have the collars working at all times.

“If they are not, we will analyze the issue and what could be improved so that the collars could work better here.”

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He says this technology is currently being used in Norway.

“It doesn’t get as cold there as it gets here, minus 40; since those collars work through a battery, we want to know if those batteries work in the winter months as they should; they’re supposed to last up to two months.”

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Sobrinho adds those collars also have solar panels on the side of them that are supposed to recharge the battery during the grazing season.

“We want to know if those solar panels work as they should.  We want to know if any issue will appear with the animals scratching the collars.

Ultimately they want to know if the collars will hold up from the regular wear and tear associated with being around other animals and the effects of the Canadian environment.