Precision livestock farming (PLF) might be defined as “the ‘sensor-based’ individual animal approach”. It is widely adopted in management of high-value animals, and many commercial companies have already or are in the process of developing PLF applications for industrialized farming such as pig and poultry production. However, PLF has not yet been applied in species where animals are considered to have a lower individual value or with less economic interest, as is the case in small ruminants such sheep and goats, or in extensive management systems. This is despite the very significant welfare and production efficiency advantages that can be achieved by applying PLF in these contexts.
Moreover, livestock, particularly those with low individual value (such as sheep and goats), are often managed as a group, flock or herd and only average welfare state might be considered.
Considering a PLF approach to welfare management in these species will allow the individual animal to be identified within the group, so that feed, health care or other aspects linked to welfare can be individualized.
TechCare will be driven by animal welfare management all along the value chain, and will be based on three pillars:
(1) multi-actor approach with stakeholders; (2) PLF innovative technologies and data science; (3) business models.