Farmscape for February 22, 2021
Researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are demonstrating the value of using video top monitor animal welfare and ultimately improve meat quality.
Research conducted by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine has found using body cameras to support remote animal welfare assessments is a viable option.
Dr. Yolande Seddon, an Assistant Professor of Swine Behaviour and Welfare and NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Swine Welfare, says we'll always need live assessments but also having the virtual ability allows increased oversight.
Clip-Dr. Yolande Seddon-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
We could maybe reduce some costs because you could have an assessment done on farm remotely as opposed to having someone come in in person.
If necessary, there could be increased frequency of assessment where needed, again for that oversight of barns in their own management of their animals and whether that is part of an assurance scheme requirement or an internal auditing process by companies.
In terms of being able to automate this, certainly if we were seeing that there was value in assessing animal welfare on carcasses at slaughter, we would need that process to be automated because of the volume of animals that are processed in an abattoir coming from across the country.
That would mean that we could automate the feedback and the understanding of the knowledge that is coming off these animals in order to have a continuous feedback loop.
I would also add there is a lot of research going into artificial intelligence and how can imaging systems pick up behaviors of animals and potentially marks on animals or indicators and therefore further down the line we might be able to automate some of this data capture on farm to help with management of the animals and build up data on animal care.
Dr. Seddon says video will not replace live assessments but it adds another layer of oversight.
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