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Species Appropriate Fencing

Species Appropriate Fencing

What is the biggest preventable animal welfare issue that as a Veterinarian I have to deal with?

No one wants to read a whole lot of facts that I write about. That’s what Veterinarians learn at Vet school and then we come out and apply all this information in the real world.

Drug doses, surgical techniques, nutritional expertise, disease prevention and treatment all make up part of the picture we learn.

There is one thing however that I would like all animal owners to ponder is that fencing should be species appropriate. Prevention is better than any cure I can provide!

I have recently had to deal with many, many horse and cattle leg wounds from high tensile wire. High tensile wire around horses is like putting a rifle in the hands of a 10 year old. OK while supervised, but what about when you are not there? The consequences are gut wrenching for owners and Veterinarians, and must be very painful.

You may buy a horse, and pay for all the hardware like saddles, horse floats, have them shod, and then find they are out of action for 6 months with wire injuries plus a thousand dollars in veterinary bills for sedatives, bandages, etc. It would have been much cheaper and reassuring to invest in some good horse fencing such as at Magnum Industries. I have no relationship with the company but have used their products and they are easy to erect.

Another species and fencing issue is that electric fences are designed to work with electricity in them. That is what makes them effective. If they do not have electricity in them then calves and bulls etc will all walk through the fence and get tangled up. A recent case highlighted this to me where a calf had almost amputated its foot after tangling in an electric fence.

So get out there and check that your fences are species appropriate, and if doing alterations then consider your best option.

Ross Woods