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December 2, 2020 11:14 am

Droning the Drove: Israeli Cow-Herders Turn to Flying Tech

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Ranger Shoham Saginur rides a horse as he works with Israeli firm BeeFree Agro, developers of a method which uses drones to herd and observe cattle, at a ranch near Katzrin, in the Golan Heights, Nov. 29, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Ronen Zvulun.

The buzz of tiny rotors has replaced dog barks and bullwhips on this Israeli ranch, where drones are being used to herd and observe cattle.

The remote-controlled quadcopters hover near the cows, which move along in response while live video is relayed back to the farmers.

“Using a drone, instead of cowboys and dogs, creates a much less stressful environment for the animals, and an animal that is less stressful is a lot healthier and more productive,” said Noam Azran, CEO of BeeFree Agro, the firm developing the method.

The drones also offer more efficient control of large droves and pastures, he said, adding that there has been interest from the United Arab Emirates, which in September established formal relations with Israel.

BeeFree Agro representatives will go to the Gulf state this month “to see if our solution can work for camels,” he said.

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