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Shock decision on electric fences

by 5m Editor
14 September 2006, at 11:08am

UK - The recent decision by CENELEC, the European electrotechnical standards body, to pass a French proposal to reduce the standards covering the output energy of electric fence energisers to five joules, represents a blow to the UK livestock industries.

More powerful energisers, vital to many aspects of farming in the UK, will continue to be available, but as a result of this decision they will not be covered by EU or domestic standards and we are investigating how this will impact the market for these products.

The NFU played a key role in stimulating other farming organisations here and across the EU to lobby their respective standards bodies to ensure that this ill-considered proposal was not accepted.

CENELEC also rejected an exemption from this decision, drawn up by the NFU and BSI (British Standards Institute), which would have meant that energisers of over five joules would have been covered by the standards in the UK.

The proposal to reduce the power of energisers was based on safety issues, yet there is no evidence that properly used and signed electric fences represent a health and safety threat; moreover, the risks to the public from livestock which cannot be contained effectively as a result of this decision is significantly greater.

Disappointingly, in making this decision, CENELEC considered it unnecessary to consult with any farming organisations which would be directly affected by the outcome.

The NFU has worked closely with BSI on this issue and we will continue to work with them to explore other ways in which electric fence energisers of over five joules can continue to be covered by the appropriate standards.

Further information is available from the NFU here: Regulations.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

5m Editor