South African farmer equips sheep with cell phones

July 11, 2012

A South African farmer is fielding phone calls from his sheep, after equipping them with cell phones to keep tabs on the flock amid recent livestock thefts, according to local press Wednesday.

When the sheep call, it is always bad news for farmer Erard Louw of the Cape Town suburbs, as the phones around their necks are only set to switch on when the sheeps start running, a sign thieves have cut through the fences.

"As they run it gives me a phone call and says 'sheep one' or 'sheep two' and so on, so at least I know where to start looking because the farm is 750 hectares (1,850 acres)," Louw told daily The Cape Times.

Louw attached the phone-like to the collars of four sheep in separate after thieves snuck in and stole 27 sheep and 13 a couple weeks ago, driving Louw to rack his brain for ways to protect his animals.

He said there was no use calling nearby police, as they were stationed too far away and in his experience either lacked an available car or the vehicule was out of fuel or missing tyres - also, incidentally, the work of .

According to Louw, the cell phones have already proved their muster, with one sheep-snatcher caught thanks to the device.

Still, with theft attempts currently at their peak, given the long winter nights and early nightfall, a few sheep-robbers managed to get away, despite the device.

"The phone did start ringing that night and I went out," he said, but added that he was too late.

Explore further: Wanted: A sheep in sheep's clothing

Related Stories

Wanted: A sheep in sheep's clothing

June 6, 2006

Australian scientists say they are looking for the ugliest merino lambs they can find in a study that may challenge the dominance of synthetic fibers.

Transmitting prion diseases in milk

April 8, 2008

Scrapie can be transmitted to lambs through milk, according to new research published in the online open access journal BMC Veterinary Research. The study provides important information on the transmission of this prion-associated ...

Farmers can spot lame sheep, but fail to prevent footrot spread

October 14, 2008

Sheep farmers are highly able to spot even mildly lame sheep, but many do not take steps to prevent the spread of lameness in their flocks by catching and treating these animals. A study in the open access journal BMC Veterinary ...

Sheep with scrapie found in Japan

April 14, 2011

A dead sheep infected with scrapie -- a degenerative disease of the nervous system similar to mad cow disease -- has been found in western Japan, an official said on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Interactive tool lifts veil on the cost of nuclear energy

August 24, 2015

Despite the ever-changing landscape of energy economics, subject to the influence of new technologies and geopolitics, a new tool promises to root discussions about the cost of nuclear energy in hard evidence rather than ...

Smart home heating and cooling

August 28, 2015

Smart temperature-control devices—such as thermostats that learn and adjust to pre-programmed temperatures—are poised to increase comfort and save energy in homes.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

mrlewish
1 / 5 (1) Jul 23, 2012
Baaaaaaaa

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.