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Virtual Fencing: The Future of Livestock Management – PNWSRM Webinar Series

October 12, 2021


Home on the Range Webinar Series, Fall 2021

Once again, BC Chapter offers a webinar series showcasing projects and case studies of young range management professionals and students in the PNW. Each 30 minute webinar will feature a 15 minute presentation followed by questions and discussions.

October 12, 2021

Virtual Fencing: The Future of Livestock Management

Amanda J. Miller, Rangeland Ecologist, M.Sc., P.Ag., Palouse Rangeland Consulting, 

The British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association has partnered with A4 Systems, TELUS, and Two Story Robot to develop and test prototype virtual fencing technology in conventional range and pasture settings in British Columbia.

The Problem: Increasing costs and intensive labour requirements associated with fencing large areas of remote and rugged terrain for the purposes of livestock management. Concurrently the public has become increasingly engaged and critical of the environmental impacts, whether real or perceived, of beef production in British Columbia.

The Solution: A ‘made in Western Canada’ virtual fencing product with functionality both within and outside of cellular service, takes advantage of existing cellular and satellite infrastructure. Virtual fence boundaries will be established and maintained by the rancher/ranch manager through a programming interface via a combination of GPS technology and LTE networks. Physical collars placed on cattle will enforce this virtual fence system through audible alarms and electric pulses delivered by the collar.

This technology will:

  • Reduce conflict, costs, and labor associated with building, replacing, and maintaining physical fences
  • Improve stewardship, enhancing environmental and social values

This will allow industry to address large and reoccurring fencing costs in a novel way by providing fire and flood proof virtual fencing, supporting economic recovery following wildfire events.

2021 represents Phase 1 of this project and is focused on technology development and assuring utility on cattle in conventional range and pasture settings in British Columbia. This will see the development and deployment of 15 prototype collars for testing in partnership with Thibeault Ranch in Cranbrook, BC. Prototype testing will occur over September 2021, and preliminary results relative to technology efficacy and animal health and welfare considerations will be presented



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