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Bring On Virtual fences, Farmers Say

by | Jul 8, 2024 | Agriculture, Media Release | 0 comments

Calls for virtual fencing to be legalised in NSW have come to a head as the state’s peak farming body fronted a NSW government inquiry into the matter. 

According to the CSIRO, Virtual fencing is an animal-friendly fencing system that enables livestock to be confined or moved without using fixed fences.

Appearing at a hearing held as part of the inquiry on Friday, NSW Farmers Animal Welfare Committee chair Robert McIntosh said virtual fencing had a significant range of benefits that farmers could access if the technology was legalized for use in NSW. 

“The science and technology behind virtual fencing indicates this tool has significant benefits for animal welfare, while also delivering better economic returns for farmers through grazing efficiencies,” Mr McIntosh said. 

“In the event of floods, fires and other natural disasters, this technology could well be used to help move livestock to safe areas, without putting humans or animals at risk.

“Reduced fencing costs and enabling noxious weeds to be fenced off and controlled are just two other benefits of virtual fencing which we could see farmers take advantage of if the technology was legalised in NSW. 

“In reality, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what’s possible with this tool – we just need to be able to use it.”

With the technology already permitted for commercial use in a number of other states, Mr McIntosh said it was critical NSW legislation was amended to enable farmers to take advantage of virtual fencing within the state.

“Across Australia and even the world, farmers are reaping the rewards of virtual fencing – so it’s time for NSW to come up to speed,” Mr McIntosh said. 

“Virtual fencing has great potential for the sustainability of the natural environment in which we farm, as well as the human resources of our farmers, so it could well prove critical to increasing efficiencies within our industry.

“We need to put more food on tables and more clothes on backs than ever before in history – so the hunt is on to find new ways and new technologies to help us feed the future.”

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