Maintaining good on-farm health and welfare of pigs is a key focus for the Australian pork industry, as these factors impact productivity and profitability.
Early treatment of animals needing individual health care or attention is crucial but it can be difficult to identify issues in large group settings, like those found in commercial production cycles.
There is a growing demand for enhanced animal welfare management by customers, but a limited ability to accurately trace products to the end-user remains a hurdle.
Xsights IoT Tags (XIoT) are a cost-effective wafer that can be retrofitted to a standard button ear tag to report temperature, movement, and location of pigs in real-time.
The research will unlock the value of this data by correlating it with biological measures from pigs in a commercial setting and using machine learning to predict animal health and welfare outcomes.
A model will be developed to initiate triggered alerts related to health status in real-time allowing the early detection and treatment of animals needing attention.
The application of this data throughout the supply chain will be examined by applying the same tag system to carcasses and meat products to enable the traceability of individual pigs from farm to end user.
The team will also examine if the information can be used to add-value by demonstrating animal welfare provenance to customers and consumers.
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Project Update (July 2023): Pig behaviour unlocks new insights into welfare of animals on-farm.