A consortium of academic and animal health industry partners in the UK, led by Zoetis, is seeking to develop visual imaging methods and digital technologies to help producers improve the health and wellbeing of pig herds and enhance production efficiency.
The project, costing just under £2 million and due to run for two years, will focus on the development of “advanced technologies to analyse pig behaviour and performance” while also looking for “early warning signs of disease or stress”. It is hoped the project’s results will pave the way for treatment and care to begin sooner than has previously been possible.
“This work has the potential to hasten the advent of precision farming in pork production,” said Zoetis’ senior vice president, Michelle L. Haven. “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 wellbeing, bolster production efficiency, and improve profitability and competitiveness.”
The consortium partners include specialists from Newcastle University; Innovent Technology, Aberdeen; RAFT Solutions, Yorkshire; and Scottish-based feed manufacturers, Harbro.
“By combining resources and sharing expertise, we can speed advances in animal health and support livestock veterinarians and producers as they strive to limit disease and increase productivity in their animals,” said Zoetis’ executive vice president, Alejandro Bernal.
The project is being funded through an Agri-Tech Catalyst Award from Innovate UK, the UK’s Innovation Agency.