This report has been developed by the Stray Voltage Working Group (SVWG). The SVWG’s task was to examine the issue of stray voltage and its effects on Ontario’s farming community, and to provide recommendations to the Government of Ontario for developing best practices to protect people and livestock. In response to the concerns raised by the farming community regarding stray voltage, the Ontario Legislature carried a motion on May 3, 2021, to “create a working group to examine the issue of ground current and to provide recommendations about developing best practices in order to protect people and livestock from stray voltage.”
Stray voltage is a phenomenon which can occur as a result of the way the electricity distribution system is designed and operated. Animals can be highly sensitive to the effects of stray voltage and can experience tingling sensations when exposed, which may affect the behaviour and health of livestock.
The SVWG identified three key themes that must be addressed: the need for greater communication and information sharing; a need for more action to reduce the likelihood and frequency of stray voltage; and new processes to identify, address and contain stray voltage when it occurs. The SVWG stresses the need for the government to respond clearly and immediately and implement the recommendations in this report.