The British Veterinary Association is encouraging vets to speak to their livestock and equine clients about containment fences, in an move to ensure they are always used responsibly and safely.
The BVA position on the use of electric containment fences in livestock and horses, launched this week, recognises that containment fences are currently a necessary option for many clients but makes several recommendations on how to limit their potential harm to animals and humans.
BVA president Simon Doherty said: “As vets, we know that electric containment fences are often a necessary part of rural life to allow animals to graze safely and efficiently. But we also recognise that they can harm or injure animals, especially if not correctly designed, installed or maintained.
“In our newly published position, we’re encouraging further research into alternative, non-harmful ways to contain livestock and horses. Until then, we’re supporting the responsible use of electric containment fences by providing vets with some top tips and references to kickstart conversations with their clients.”
Mr Doherty added: “We would also like to again remind members of the public about the importance of ensuring their dogs are kept under control around livestock. Chasing and attacks can lead to serious injuries, fatalities and spontaneous abortion for sheep and other livestock due to stress.
“We would encourage dog owners to ensure that any location where their dog is kept is secure and to keep their dog on a lead near livestock.”