Funder and dates: Innovate UK, April 2016 - ongoing
Collaborators/partners: SRUC, Innovent Technology Ltd, Agri EPI Ltd and J Sainsbury Ltd
Tail biting in growing pigs starts without warning. Outbreaks of tail biting result in pain and sickness for bitten pigs and economic losses for farmers, particularly when infection through tail wounds results in abattoir condemnation of meat. Recent research shows that a pig’s behaviour changes before a damaging tail biting outbreak starts. This project aims to develop a ‘smart farming’ product based on the latest video technology and machine-vision software to automatically detect these changes and warn farmers so they can intervene to stop tail biting. The project brings together SRUC’s expertise in pig behaviour analysis, Innovent Technology Ltd’s machine vision software development skills with Sainsbury’s pig supply chain perspective to ensure that end user needs are met. Experience with on-farm 3D video, and access to a network of Agri-tech expertise will be facilitated by the Agri-EPI Centre. It is funded by Innovate UK’s Agri-Tech Catalyst awards.