Livestock are a key component in the Human food-chain. Ensuring their wellbeing is therefore of critical importance. In today’s food aware society, maintaining the highest levels of animal welfare is a top priority of food producers.
Animals whose health and welfare is compromised display patterns of abnormal behaviour even though they might appear physically well. This project aims to develop computational methods to predict and detect these kinds of behaviours, initially focused on Pigs.
Through Machine Learning and Computer Vision techniques it is hoped that this project will lead to a technology that is able to accurately provide an indication that farm animals may be unwell or may become unwell unless action is taken.
By monitoring the current and past behaviours of animals, algorithms can be designed to learn patterns of activities that may indicate sickness, and to register this earlier, and less labouriously than a Human could.
This PhD is funded by BBSRC and joins the Culture Lab with the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.