Cattle "on the loose" in Balen and Mol: a first for Belgium

Balen and Mol, two municipalities in the Kempen area (Antwerp province), have started an experiment to keep cattle on fields without fences. Cows, sheep and goats get an electronic collar that warns them when they go outside their fields. 

"The collar has a GPS inside, and will make a sound when the animals venture out of the property. If they would go further, they will get a small electric shock - smaller than the shock given by a fence", project coordinator Daan Janssens told the local radio station Radio 2 Antwerpen. 

It serves to leave out the often ugly fences in the landscape: "This can come in handy in a natural area, to protect certain plant species." 

The project represents a first for Belgium, but it is already being used in New Zealand, Australia and Norway. 

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