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HomeFarming NewsUsing AI to identify sick livestock?
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Using AI to identify sick livestock?

The welfare of livestock could be improved thanks to a new UK-led research project.

It will use novel artificial intelligence methods, combined with behavioural analytics, to provide insights to animal health for farmers.

The research and commercial feasibility program, co-funded by Innovate UK, will be led by the Quant Foundry (QF) in collaboration with the University of Bristol Vet School and Agri-EPI Centre.

The team, headed by Dr Chris Cormack at Q, will run a feasibility study with Professor Andrew Dowsey and animal welfare experts, Dr Siobhan Mullan, Dr Suzanne Held and Professor Michael Mendl at the University of Bristol and Agri-EPI Centre at its South West Dairy Development Centre in Somerset.

Cost savings 

The project aims to provide a new cost-effective solution for farmers and vets to identify illness in livestock. They have a desire to reduce the impact of farming on the environment.

Dr Chris Cormack, managing director at the Quant Foundry said: “The study of behavioural analytics in animals will open up a new era in artificial intelligence-driven solutions for farmers.”

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“We have great hopes that not only can we help farmers provide improved care for their livestock but also help reduce their economic costs and their environmental impact.”

Professor Andrew Dowsey, chair in Population Health Data Science at Bristol Veterinary School, a specialist in data solutions for health and agriculture, added:

“This collaboration is a fantastic opportunity to translate cutting-edge artificial intelligence approaches to build upon the UK’s high standards in cattle welfare and support farmers in our targets for net-zero emissions.”

Seeking partners 

Duncan Forbes, Agri-EPI centre’s Head of Dairy said: “Agri-EPI’s South West Dairy Development Centre is dedicated to the development and evaluation of exciting emerging technologies such as this. We’re looking forward to working with Quant Foundry and Bristol Vet School.”

Throughout the project, the collaborative team will be actively seeking partners to help them commercialise and build capability. This can range from direct investment or from interested companies looking to complement their existing activities in this upcoming area.

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