Dairy cattle is one of the livestock systems with the highest production shares in Europe . Over the last decades, animal welfare has become a fundamental concern for this industry. Studies show that the welfare of cows may adversely affect their growth and reproductive potential, as well as the quantity and the quality of the milk they produce . Furthermore, society has become increasingly aware of animal welfare, demanding transparency and better treatment of farmed animals .
However, the assessment of animal welfare normally relies on momentary recordings of environmental and animal-based indicators. Tools available for this purpose are costly, time consuming and sometimes invasive .
This project brings together a multidisciplinary team to evaluate the technical and market acceptance of a precision livestock technology (PFL) for automatically detecting welfare problems such as stress and pain in dairy cattle, both proven to be the major negative effect states reducing welfare. This sensor-based non-invasive 24x7 monitoring solution uses sound recognition technology to monitor cow’s vocalization, bringing benefits to both producers --- as an early warning system of potential problems, allowing them to take corrective and timely measures --- and consumers, likely concerned about the welfare food producing animals.
This project leverages the work of funded projects from our team members:
1. LIFE+ DYNAMAP (LIFE13 ENV/IT/001254) automatically distinguishes between traffic and non-traffic noise for the real-time generation of traffic noise map. Learnings from this experience will be the base of the choice and fine tuning of algorithms for analysing the vocalization of cows. Dr. Alsina is a WP technical leader.
2. SmartSense (TECSPR16-1-0066) developed the SmartSense platform for the rapid development of proofs-of-concept in sound recognition technology. This platform will be used to develop our solution. Dr. Duboc is the PI.
3. ClearFarm (862919 — H2020-SFS-2018-2020/H2020-SFS-2019-1) will offer a platform to understand the needs of farmers and consumers in terms of animal welfare, and thus a direct view of the market needs. We will contact the partners from this project to assess the market acceptance and acceptability of a PLF solution using our technology. Dr. Llonch is the scientific coordinator.
 doi: 10.3389/fvets.2018.00305
Aquest projecte ha estat cofinançat per la Unió Europea a través del Fons Europeu de Desenvolupament Regional (FEDER) i compta amb el suport de la Secretaria d’Universitats i Recerca del Departament d’Empresa i Coneixement de la Generalitat de Catalunya.