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Smart livestock farming helps animals and farmers

Rising dietary protein intake in developing countries in addition to increasing concerns for animal welfare present serious challenges for livestock farmers. Could the emergence of Smart Livestock Farming, a 'per animal' approach that uses advanced technologies, provide farmers with a solution?

Industrial Technologies

To answer this question, researchers of the EU-funded project BRIGHTANIMAL assessed the achievements of Smart Livestock Farming (or Precision Livestock Farming) to date and identified the needs of future research in this area. The main goal of BRIGHTANIMAL was to identify practical and acceptable strategies for the implementation of Smart Livestock Farming. A multidisciplinary team of experts from five continents worked together to establish a framework for the study and the implementation of Smart Farming. The framework was then applied to four different types of livestock farming: fish, dairy cows, fattening pigs and broiler chickens. The project began by evaluating, assessing and coordinating existing research. Using feedback from a series of public workshops in Europe and South Africa, recommendations were elaborated for marketing, research objectives, transparency in the food business, a new farm evaluation scheme and education. As a final result, the project published a 200-page book titled 'Acceptable and practical precision livestock farming'. The book has been distributed to key researchers and institutions and is available as an e-book on Amazon. The project also used its webpage, a leaflet on Smart Farming for farmers and a network of professionals from academia and industry for the dissemination of its results. A lasting impact of this study will be the awareness it raised about the commercial, social and ethical advantages to be gained from properly applied Smart Livestock Farming principles. By producing a framework for implementation, BrightAnimal has made a significant contribution towards more profitable, efficient and acceptable livestock and aquaculture sectors.

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