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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Patented "Virtual" Fence Technology
See also: US Patent Office Full Record

Plains Area
  Las Cruces, New Mexico

Patent Number: 6232880
Docket Number: 14798
Serial Number: 9353713
Date Patented: 05/15/2001

Technology Description:

The invention incorporates electronic signals generated from satellites and animal conditioning principles to establish fenceless boundaries to keep animals, like cattle, in a particular area. When the animal attempts to move out of bound, a device–currently a collar worn around the animal’s neck–receives a Global Positioning System (GPS) signal indicating the animal’s exact geographic location. This information is compared to where the animal should be using a Geographic Information System (GIS) contained inside the animal’s collar. The device is programmed to administer bilateral cues to steer the animals back in bound. Virtual fencing, as the system is called, can be programmed to move in time and space, thus facilitating animal containment and distribution. The boundaries can be changed or moved at any time, without expensive labor and materials, based on a producer’s need. For example, a herd can be moved based on vegetation growth patterns, or away from streams and protected land.


Please refer to Patent Number 6,232,880 (Docket #0147.98), "Animal Control System Using Global Positioning and Instrumental Animal Conditioning," which was issued May 15, 2001.


Dean M. Anderson
Range Management Research
Las Cruces, NM 88003
(505) 646-5190 / Fax: (505) 646-5889

Craig S. Hale
Future Segue
Las Cruces, NM 88004
(505) 541-1204 / Fax: (505) 541-1204

Last Modified: 10/1/2015
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