Sheep Collar “Cries Wolf” and Texts Rancher


The following article is from The Telegraph:

A special collar will detect when a sheep’s heart rate rises. If it remains elevated for a long time, a sign of distress, a text message warning could be triggered and sent by a mobile chip embedded in the collar.

It is hoped the Swiss sheep protection system will help cut the number of animals taken by wolves in Alps, as Europe’s top predator makes a comeback after being driven to the brink of extinction. Small herds whose owners cannot afford a sheepdog are particularly vulnerable.

Tests last week on sheep above Les Diablerets in the Bernese Alps showed their pulses almost treble under stress, from the normal rate of between 60 and 80 beats per minute. The trial sheep were scared by exposing them to muzzled Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs.

“It’s the first time that such a system has been tried outdoors,” said wolf scientist Dr Jean-Marc Landry

He said he would develop a text message-based warning system following the research.

The plan echoes monitoring technology used to help elderly people maintain their independence, which automatically contact relatives or doctors when something is wrong with their pulse or blood pressure, for instance.

It also comes soon after South African sheep farmer Erard Louw set up a system to allow his flock to ring him if they were being stolen. Their collars detect when they break into a run, a sign of intruders in their enclosure.

Dr Landry said the first collars would be produced in autumn and that as instead of contacting shepherds, alternative versions might spray a wolf-repellent chemical or make a loud noise. Trials of the completed system are planned next year.

Source:  The Telegraph

Posted by Haylie Shipp


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