A new monitoring system in pig sheds that collects a range data to provide an outcome-based measure of animal welfare via an app for the producer has won the 2022 Pig World New Product of the Year award.
Greengage Agritech’s Animal Welfare Index Score, which has been trialled and developed with SRUC in Scotland, came out top from a field of 35 entries, which were just some of the new products on display at the 2022 British Pig and Poultry Fair.
The monitoring system collects information from cameras and other in-house sensors to measures aspects of the pigs welfare, including tail-biting and general pig movement, environmental factors, such as ammonia levels.
These are then combined with productivity data to provide an Animal Welfare Index Score that creates a measure of welfare that can be used to assess, monitor and improve animal welfare, and also compliance with the various audited on-farm requirements.
The judges, Red Tractor chair Stewart Houston, AHDB senior health and welfare scientist Lauren Dimmack and Pig World editor Alistair Driver, felt the product successfully utilised innovative technology and had great potential to help producers identify potential issues early and address some of the industry’s wider environmental and welfare challenges.
Greengage’s chief commercial officer Tim Hodgetts said the company was ‘surprised and delighted to win’. “We’ve launched the AWIS here and we are getting a lot of traction from people who resonate with animal welfare, which has always been at the heart of anything we do,” he said.
“People can see the benefits of the product: it will help them with their compliance, it will help them with welfare, and it will improve their productivity.”
There were two Highly Commended runners up – Cargill’s BehavePro L, a fast-acting liquid solution which has been shown to calm pigs and Dalton Engineering’s Silo Weighing system with an app.
Cargill’ new liquid plant-based additive has been shown to promote pig welfare and reduce abnormal behaviour in sows, piglets, grower and finisher pigs. The positive behavioural effect is seen within 24-48 hours
Cargill technical sales manager, swine, Jason Evans, said: “It is a great product, and we feel highly honoured to be highly commended in this award. We think it is very much worthy because we are getting such great traction with it. It does exactly what it says on the tin. There’s been a lot of interest with producers – they are keen to use it.”
Dalton’s system allows silos to be weighed without the need for lifting them onto load cells. It simply attaches to one leg of the silo and transmits live data to a cloud-based app. The system can predict when feed needs re-ordering, while wireless connectivity makes it easy to use and install with a battery life of up to 5 years.
Dalton Engineering sales director Gary Walker: “It is a new technology that we are really excited about.
“We have put a lot of work towards getting on to the market and the response over the last two days is phenomenal. People can see the benefits of having such a good technology. So, to get this is just brilliant.”