Abstract: The ability to modify the distribution of grazing livestock is a common desire among farmers, either to protect sensitive areas or to more closely match stocking rate with carrying capacity. Virtual fencing (VF) technology offers an alternative method of controlling both where and when animals graze without the need for physical barriers, which are costly to erect and maintain, particularly along riparian areas. The potential for automated animal control collars to reduce the impact of cattle on riparian areas was evaluated. A replicated experiment was run for up to three months using four groups of ten cattle. Each group was allocated to a separate 24 ha paddock. Automated animal control collars utilise GPS to monitor position and provide cue (audio) and control (mild electric shock) stimuli to deter animals from entering an exclusion zone. When the cattle were familiar with the paddock, a duty cycled GPS collar was fitted to each steer for two weeks and background-monitoring data collected. Once the background data had been collected, the coordinates of the exclusion zone were sent to the collars to start the control phase of the experiment that ran a further two weeks. Cattle were observed from a distance regularly and had access to ad-libitum grazed forage and trough water throughout the experiment. During the monitoring phase of the experiment cattle spent 6% of their time in the exclusion zone, but less than 0.01% of their time in the exclusion zone after the virtual fence was enabled.