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£3m to put pig welfare at the top of the agenda

Digital technologies are being used to provide early warning signs of stress and disease in pigs as part of a pioneering new research project involving experts from Newcastle University.

The £3m project funded through the Agri-Tech Catalyst Award from Innovate UK, brings together industry and academia to develop advanced technologies to analyse pig behaviour and performance.
Led by Zoetis Inc. and Newcastle University, this international research project will run for three and a half years.
Ilias Kyriazakis, Professor, Animal Health and Nutrition, School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, explained: "We believe a combination of video imaging and data mining technologies can serve as a cornerstone to continuous improvement in animal welfare and sustainable farming. 
“Armed with this data, veterinarians, animal scientists and producers can focus more on preventive medicine and health strategies to capture production efficiencies, making the most of finite resources.  We envisage this project serving as a catalyst for innovation in the pig farming industry both in the UK and the broader European community.”

Michelle Haven, a veterinarian and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Alliances, and Solutions at Zoetis added: “This work has the potential to hasten the advent of precision farming in pork production.

“We have assembled leading UK-based partners with a complementary mix of capabilities needed to uncover new insights for veterinarians and pork producers to enhance animal wellness, bolster production efficiency, and improve profitability and competitiveness.”

published on: 19 November 2014