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

TechCare Partner Team: IDELE and OVIARAGON (Leader and Co-Leader WP5)

“L’Institut de l’Elevage”, The Livestock Institute (IDELE), is a technical and applied research institute, bringing together more than 300 employees in the different regions of France. The institute works in partnership with all the operators in the livestock sectors and the agricultural Research-Innovation and Development network in France and other countries, particularly within the framework of European or international projects. The mission of IDELE is to improve the competitiveness of herbivore farms and their sectors in a constantly changing context. Its work provides technical and innovative solutions to cattle, sheep, goat, and horse breeders and to industry stakeholders. They also provide contributions to societal questions and current issues, at the service of actors in livestock farming and its sectors. To find out more, visit the website.

As part of the TechCare project, Idele coordinates technology testing actions in pilot farms and the trials that will be deployed in larger-scale (WP5). IDELE also participates in other project activities.

Presentation of the team involved in the TechCare project:

Jean-Marc Gautier is team leader for “Sensors-Equipment-Facilities” at Institut de l’Elevage (Idele). Senior coordinator and Project leader, he holds a master’s degree in animal production. He is involved in many projects, either in small ruminants and cattle, on new technologies and animal production. He was the coordinator of the H2020 SheepNet EU project and he is involved in different other H2020 projects. He is member of the EAAP PLF Commission since 2021.



Germain Tesnière is an engineer in agronomy (L’Institut Agro Dijon) with a doctorate in management sciences (Mines ParisTech / INRAe). His background gives him dual expertise in biotechnical sciences and in human and social sciences on topics related to ruminant breeding. Recently, he participated in several European, national, and regional projects on the breeding of local breeds (cattle, sheep), and the development of their production systems in the mountain ranges. As part of the TechCare project, Germain is working in collaboration with Jean-Marc Gautier on the innovative actions to be implemented for trials in pilot farms and demonstrations in large-scale (WP5 leader). He also coordinates the various trials of the two French pilot farms (Le Mourier – CIIRPO; La Cazotte). He participates in the organization and animation of national workshops in France and other activities of IDELE in the TechCare project.


Amandine Menet is an engineer working on project management methods, sociological methods, and advisory approaches. At Idele since 2018, she is involved in European projects about the impact of participation in multi-stakeholder partnerships, antibiotic resistance, animal welfare and sustainable farming. She conducts surveys and supports the co-construction of new advisory approaches. In TechCare, she is involved in WP1 on the methodology of the stakeholder’s workshops and on the facilitation of the French workshops.



Doctor from the University of Rennes (France, Ille et Vilaine) in ethology, Anne Aupiais has led projects on welfare and behavior of ruminants and equines at the French Livestock Institute since 1999 (welfare and health team). Previously, she worked on transport and slaughter of ruminants, she is now more specialized in the welfare of these animals during breeding. She is involved in the development of welfare assessment tools and protocols on the behavior of ruminants. At the national level, she leads the CMOUBIENE project on the development of a tool for assessing and managing the welfare of small ruminants in livestock farming. She provides training on the welfare and behavior of ruminants, on dehorning calves and pain management, on handling and restraint of cattle. In the TechCare project, she is involved in WP2 for the characterization and prioritization of small ruminant welfare indicators.


Uranie Jean-Louis is data scientist at IDELE. She holds a MSc in Agricultural and Food Data management (UniLasalle). She worked as a data scientist apprentice during 18 months in a breeding consulting company. During this time, she tried to find new indicators to monitor the well-being of dairy cows. Her background gives her the ability to analyse data related to agriculture and animal welfare. For the TechCare project, she is responsible of analysing data from the monitoring technology (UHF), cameras, water meters and the sensors (T°C, humidity, Co2) for the two pilots farms La Cazotte and Le Mourier. The goal from the UHF data is to identify sheep’s drinking behavior which will be used to characterize their hydration and welfare. During this project Uranie collaborates closely with Germain Tesnière and Jean-Marc Gautier (Idele).


Sebastien Duroy is an engineer in agronomy (L’Institut Agro Rennes). He is project manager in animal Identification issues at Institut de l’Elevage since 1999. As test centre coordinator, he’s responsible of testing for identification device approval for the agriculture ministry. He’s member of ICAR Identification sub-committee and representative of France in ISO Working group on animal Identification (ISO/TC23/SC19/WG3). For many years, Sebastien carried out projects on RFID for cattle and small ruminant’s sectors and for PLF uses. In the TechCare Project, Sebastien has contributed to work out and test the RFID UHF devices on the field with Page Up.



Manager of sheep production programs at the “Institut de l’Elevage”, Denis Gautier has been, since 2013, responsible for the management of the experimental sheep farm in Le Mourier (87) and the management of the CIIRPO (Interregional Center for Information and Sheep Production Research). A specialist in meat sheep farming, he oversees several multi-partner projects at regional, interregional or national level. It also runs the network of experimental sheep centers as part of the Inn’Ovin program. He is responsible for the Digiferme® ovine du Mourier and supervises the TechCare experiments set up on this site.



Claire Douine, project manager. Engineer in agronomy (L’Institut Agro Dijon), she worked 4 years with sheep breeders at “Chambre Régionale d’Agriculture de Normandie”. She arrived at the experimental farm Le Mourier at the beginning of the year 2022. Claire’s role at IDELE, is to set up and coordinate different studies for the farm Le Mourier and its many partners. As part of the TechCare project Claire will be involved at the pilot farm, Le Mourier, to test news technologies.



Barbara Fança is an engineer in Agriculture specialized in Animal Production. She works as a project manager at Idele, the French Livestock Institute, on small dairy ruminants’ nutrition. She leads the nutrition technical working group for the CNBL (Dairy Sheep National Committee) and is a member of a Research Unit on ruminants’ health. In TechCare, she helps Germain in the link with La Cazotte farm and trials that are conducted there.




Testing UHF Identification on sheep ©: IDELE                  Ojinegra breed ©: OVIARAGON


Oviaragón, S.Coop.Ltda. is a cooperative of regional implantation, extended to the neighboring provinces, with a market share of 39% of sheep in Aragón and 6% of sheep in Spain. In addition, we give technical advice to more than 50% of the sheep in Aragón and we try to be point of reference in the sector at a national level. Our goal is to improve the profitability and quality of life of our partners and collaborators. Through the Veterinary and Commercial Team, we work with associate producers, detecting areas for improvement and providing solutions to their application in the field of health, nutrition, genetics and reproduction, design of facilities, animal welfare and sustainability. It is offered and provides all the inputs needed in the farms: feed, materials, medicines … through the central purchasing, sheep feed factories and other agreements. The Commercialization Section is responsible for coordinating and collecting weekly the lambs of the partners, taking them to the 9 Bait and Classification Centers until they are sold passing through our cutting and packaging room or not. R + D + I seek solutions to the challenges that arise through projects that have the collaboration of public administration or private entities.

In the TechCare project, we are in charge of “Demonstrating, large -scale validation and market replication”, that means the facilitation and coordination of the different test we are going to carry out in real situations in 6 countries. The main goal is defining the ease of use of the innovative technologies and indicators with impactful animal welfare management models. Also finding the optimal used conditions for the innovative technologies and determine the cost and benefits in terms of social, labor, environmental, animal welfare and profitability of sheep production systems.

Short profile of some members undertaking the work in TechCare project:

Enrique Fantova, the technical director, coordinates with Charo Bru, the activities in which the veterinarian team, composed of 25 technical specializing in meat sheep, is involved: health, advisories, reproduction, nutrition, PAC… Besides, he holds relationships with public administration, research centers, trade unions, and Governing council of Oviaragón.




Leticia Riaguas, 25 years working as a sheep advisor in production subjects, is responsible for the development and coordination of projects in Oviaragón. She will carry out the necessary tasks for the start-up and follow-up of the validation tests (Large-scale tests), among the Tech Care partners and among Oviaragón members. The goal of the innovation in the Cooperative is to transfer valuable results to the sector to resolve actual and future gaps.



Eugenia Blasco, head of the Rasa Aragonesa pedigree book (UPRA) and specialist in reproduction. She coordinates the collection and interpretation of genetic and pedigree data, having extensive experience using the database that we share with our geneticists.




Victor Miguel Gascon, head of the Roya Bilbilitana pedigree book (AGROBI) has been working as a meat sheep veterinarian for more than 10 years in southwestern Aragon. An advisor on nutrition, health, and reproduction, he is currently actively involved in the TechCare project.




Esperanza Horcas is responsible for the management of eight lamb feedlots. She manages the productive indices and oversees the implementation of control measures to improve animal welfare. She participates in the design and evolution of the prototype of a self-weighing scale for herds.




Javier Espada, is a veterinary technician with extensive experience in fieldwork in livestock, mainly attending to the care and prevention of animal health. For more than 10 years, he has been working on the development of GPS devices for sheep for movement control, participating in numerous projects, through which several technical problems have been solved.