Great applications in Wales and NZ
"Is it a cow? Open the door to the watering point. Is it a sheep? Open the door to the bedroom..."
Aussie scientists have launched an ingenious "cowcam" facial recognition system designed to identify animal species and keep unwanted riff-raff out of cattle watering points, the Guardian reports. Cowcam features a camera mounted in a laneway through which thirsty creatures must pass to gain access to the water. If the system …
So the horses, goats, camels and pigs which are not indigenous and therefore presumably introduced by the forebears of the current ranchers are to die from lack of drinking water? As are, I guess, the none indigenous bunnies that periodically plague Australia. Nice way to solve the problem of watering the stock economically, let everything else that has been introduced and no longer has a use just die of thirst.
Classic!! Why read the common muck in most news papers when you can get entertaining stories, full of wise cracks, innuendo and all the full joys of the language from El Reg.
Now, seriously, this type of format is ripe for some real journalistic endeavours. I really like the in depth (read multipage) stories from time to time. Focused on some more interesting IT/social topics, and el reg could be matching der spiegel. Think about it, keep up the good work.
When you are talking about a single property larger in size than Belguim as the norm, the need for this type of automation is obvious. Especially when some places may not see rain for a few years in parts (while other parts of the station may be flooded) and rely on water from artesian sources which suffer after years of drought and competition from feral pests. The indigenous animals are smart enough to range far and wide to find the water, the feral and stock animals are not so clever and will die in the mud of a drying water hole.
RFID? These animals are basically turned out into an unfenced area of the size of Blighty and left to feed and breed. Then, after an aerial stocktake, they are aerially mustered (by chopper), drafted and sent to the slaughter house.
The first time a human gets close enough to a lot of these animals to fit a radio tag is normally the bloke with the bolt gun, whose job is to kill the beast, rendering need for radio tag redundant.
I currently live in Brisbane and we have been at level6 water restrictions for a couple of years because of drought. The rest of the state west of the mountains (great dividing range) has been a lot worse off.
The point of such a device is not to save costs on water, but to avoid what scant water is out there being consumed by feral animals rather than your herd.
At $10k (what, 4000GBP?) all you need to do is prevent the death of 10 of your herd of 1000 cows and the investment has paid itself off. Cost/Benefit is pretty clear.
$1000 per cow? LOL You can't get that! You'll be lucky to get a little more than $500 for an animal these days.... Sold 5 recently. The cows with calfs actually brought in less than one going straight to the slaughter house. All of these were in good condition. Around Tasmania, which is reputed to be very wet, most cows look half starved due to lack of feed. We have had a little rain this year heading into winter. Most rural properties have a tinge of green. Last spring/summer they were simply bare earth. That's climate change for you ~160mm rain this year so far.
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