SUMMARY

Subject
News
Target audience
Farmers, Advisors, Veterinarians, Policy Makers, Industry

CLEARFARM CONSORTIUM: FINAL EVENT

By Published On: February 23, 2024Categories: News

©SLU BERG Lotta

The ClearFarm consortium presented Animal Welfare the Heart of the Animal Food Chain in Europe on 14 February in Brussels. ClearFarm is an EU-funded consortium working to bring precision livestock farming (PLF) technology to the EU’s pig and dairy cattle industries to improve animal welfare. This event highlighted the consortium’s work from the past four years before it ends on 31 March.  

ClearFarm’s work compiled the available sensor technologies in the pig and dairy industries and worked with externally validated technology to gain a well-rounded insight into welfare indicators. The sensors collected data at the individual and group levels. Individual data for dairy cattle included accelerometers, milk robot data, and biomarkers. Group-level data included environmental parameters. Indicators for farmers to assess animal welfare were developed using the data. After on-farm validation testing, ClearFarm developed an analytical platform for farmers to have access to their animals’ data. With such data, farmers can be alerted to specific welfare indicators, and can see benchmarking data against other farms using ClearFarm. The pig portion of the programme was incomplete due to the limited validated technology, especially throughout the animals’ lifetime. 

Another aspect of the programme was to integrate public perceptions and consumer choice into welfare-friendly products. Product labelling can be confusing. However, with the direct link between on-farm data and product information proposed by ClearFarm, consumers may see the welfare implications of the food products they purchase. With a smartphone app, ClearFarm proposed scanning products and seeing information about the welfare of the animals that made that product.

Finally, a panel of experts, Andrea Gavinelli, Stephanie Ghislain, Miguel Ángel Higuera, Mar Maestre, and Pol Llonch, discussed PLF as a means to improve welfare. They discussed PLF as an opportunity to increase transparency with consumers, improve animal welfare, and work with stakeholders to improve the sustainability of livestock production. Major priorities for the future, such as data ownership, on-farm implementation of technology, labelling standardisation, and intensification vs densification of farms, were also discussed. 

To watch the event, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ9QnMqdFHY 

To see the website, visit: https://www.clearfarm.eu/ 

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