Integrating innovative TECHnologies along the value Chain to improve small ruminant welfARE management

First Techcare physical meeting in France to prepare large scale stage

– by J. M. Gautier (IDELE)

Last month (July 6th and 7th) has been the first time, since the beginning of the TechCare project, that partners involved in pilot trials and large scales were able to meet physically. A good occasion for team building. To that aim, a workshop with the project’s partners was held in France at the pilot dairy sheep farm “La Cazotte”, in the South of France. After a presentation of all the different technologies set at La Cazotte for TechCare (weigh tank, UHF tags and antennas, water meter, weather station indoor and outdoor), discussions ensued, and questions were raised on prerequisites for implementation on the commercial farms (large scale) and on data flow. Lessons learned from pilots will be very useful to prepare the large-scale stage, which will engage more than 100 farms in 5 countries (Spain, Ireland, France, Romania and Greece). The main criteria for farm selection have been defined according to each production and localisation of the large scale. The selection of technologies that will be deployed on farm for large scales has not been defined yet and still depend on the ability to set an animal welfare early warning system based on the technologies tested on the pilot farms. This will be the step to tackle in TechCare project.