Body Cameras Enable Remote Animal Welfare Assessments Amid COVID

Farmscape for February 17, 2021

Full Interview 11:08 Listen

The use of body cameras is proving valuable in conducing animal welfare assessments amid the current restrictions designed to prevent the spread of COVIDD-19. Researchers with Western College of Veterinary Medicine have evaluated the use of body cameras, similar to those used by police departments, as an option for barn personnel to support remote animal welfare assessments.
Dr. Giuliana Miguel Pacheco, a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, explains animal welfare assessments can be used by producers to monitor the wellbeing of their pigs and by assurance programs such as the Canadian Quality Assurance program.

Clip-Dr. Giuliana Miguel Pacheco-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Because of animal welfare science, we know that animals require minimum living conditions to have a live worth living.
So, welfare assessments are carried out to assess that animal care standards are providing animals with good welfare.
Running welfare assessments and using the information to improve living conditions could improve consumer trust in farms especially with the public. Body cameras become part of the picture because they facilitate the monitoring of animals at any point in time or monitoring various farms at the same time. Body cameras could help producers to manage their animals more effectively or to help production managers streamline assessments of several barns at the same which in turn can support improvement of animal care and management within companies, of their own animals. On top of these benefits for animals and producers are the associated benefits of reducing costs of travel for those in charge of assessments and biosecurity risks for the farms involved.

Dr. Miguel Pacheco says when researchers we’re looking into how to reach many farms to collect data, COVID-19 was not part of the picture, so this approach is also away to work around the current COVID restrictions.

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