ClearFarm – A co-design welfare monitoring platform for pig and dairy cattle

Project: PostDoc

Project Details

Description

Animal welfare has become a fundamental aspect of livestock production, but its assessment remains a challenge. Current animal welfare assessment tools suffer from several problems. First, they usually rely on momentary recordings of various environment and animal-based indicators of welfare, leading to a time-limited view of welfare and an awkward integration of various indicators with different units. Second, existing tools to assess farm animal welfare are time consuming and costly. In nowadays, modern technological developments, termed precision livestock farming (PLF), like automatic feeders, climate control systems and book-keeping software are increasingly applied on farms and across animal production chains.

PLF-technologies often aim to reduce labour costs, whilst monitoring and optimising farming processes. Although not often used for animal welfare, these systems generate large volumes of on-farm data that can be, potentially, used by producers to monitor and assess welfare in pigs and dairy cattle. PLF allows, consequently, long- term assessments of welfare to obtain a life-as-a-whole assessment of the animal quality of life, at individual level across all parts of the chain. Individual animals will be followed from before birth (mother in gestation) to slaughter, enabling a complete overview of an animal individual life in a given production chain.

The main objective of ClearFarm is to co-design, develop and validate a software platform powered by an algorithm, integrating PLF data to provide animal welfare information throughout the entire production process, as well as other sustainability information that will assist (i) producers and (ii) consumers on decision making within the pig and dairy cattle value chains. ClearFarm will foster innovation to fully exploit the new technological possibilities to improve animal welfare throughout the production chain.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/10/191/10/23