SFF Futures projects: animal health and welfare

The projects are listed according to their start dates. The latest project is at the top.

Farm animals locomotion monitoring using computer vision and machine learning

Project start: 25 March 2021
Project length: 9 Months
MPI funding: $40,000
Industry funding: $60,000
Industry partner:Iris Data Science
Region: Nationwide

This project aims to address the problem of lameness in dairy cattle (up to 15% of the population) by developing a locomotion scoring system that will continuously monitor animals throughout their life on a farm. This system will allow early detection and drafting of animals and will result in a reduction of the prevalence of lameness, less suffering, less cost and less culling.

Novel long-lasting analgesia in lambs undergoing tail docking and castration

Project start: 27 July 2020
Project length: 1 year
MPI funding: $53,700
Industry funding: $40,700
Industry partner: Massey University
Region: Nationwide

 This project aims to improve the animal welfare standards of New Zealand lamb production. The researchers will develop a practical long-acting pain mitigation (analgesic) strategy for lambs undergoing castration and tail docking.

Decreasing the lameness impact on NZ dairy farms

Project start: 28 February 2020
Project length: 3 years
MPI funding: $450,108
Industry funding: $337,617
Industry partner: VetEnt Research
Region: Nationwide

Cattle tend to only show pain and weakness when lameness becomes excruciating. VetEnt will investigate the national prevalence, incidence, duration and risk factors for lameness in cattle, as well as current farmer management practice. It will determine practical interventions for farmers and investigate what stops them implementing lameness control strategies.

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