– by C. Morgan-Davies (SRUC)
On the 17th January 2023, the European Federation of Animal Production (EAAP) invited TechCare to present results during one of its monthly webinars. The event lasted 2 hours and was very well attended, with around 105 people who joined online. Dr Claire Morgan-Davies (SRUC) chaired the event and started with a quick presentation of the TechCare project as project coordinator. Then, Dr Grete Jorgenson, from NIBIO, talked about Assessing priority welfare issues for sheep and goats in intensive and extensive systems, in a presentation prepared with colleague Prof Cathy Dwyer (SRUC). Grete focussed on the work carried out in the TechCare project and how welfare assessment protocols have been developed for sheep and goats. This was followed by a joint presentation between Dr Germain Tesniere (French Livestock Institute) and Dr Eliel Gonzalez-Garcia (INRAe), who both presented TechCare work on How to monitor welfare issues on sheep & goats farms with innovative technologies? Germain and Eliel focused on the links between the prioritised welfare issues and the choice of innovative technologies being tested either as prototype or near market on the project’s experimental and pilot farms. They illustrated their work with the use of Walk over Weigh for weight monitoring and the Ultra High Frequency tags over water troughs to check water intake. Finally, after a short break, Alon Bar-Shamai (ARO), in collaboration with Prof Ilan Halachmi (ARO), presented the work done on the Israeli pilot farm in the context of TechCare: Quantifying the value of Early Warning System in sheep. Alon presented their work on water intake monitoring and how detecting issues early enough can help farm’s economics. These three talks generated a lot of interests and pertinent questions were asked by the audience.