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Using artificial intelligence to track animal welfare

Researchers are looking to artificial intelligence to track and improve animal welfare.

The Western College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Computer Engineering are developing new tools to document and analyze animal-based indicators of on farm welfare, such as skin or tail lesions detected on swine carcasses at slaughter.

There are also 14 industry partners involved with support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

Dr. Martyna Lagoda, post-doctoral fellow on Swine Behavior and Welfare, said this work is being done because consumers want to know that the animals raised for meat have had a good quality of life.

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Four Star Veterinary Service: Jason Woodworth shares swine nutrition tips during a down market

Video: Four Star Veterinary Service: Jason Woodworth shares swine nutrition tips during a down market

There’s no question the US swine industry is struggling through a down market cycle. Jason Woodworth, Research Professor at Kansas State University, spoke to attendees at the Annual Four Star Pork Industry Conference held in Muncie, Indiana in September about nutritional strategies for feeding pigs during a down market.

“Unfortunately, the goal may be to lose the least amount of money that you can during this time, and we have to look through that lens at the idea of profitability,” said Dr. Woodworth. “Our reality is that we're going to be on the bottom side of zero, and we’re trying to conserve as much as we can. I’d encourage producers to be as nimble and flexible as possible and to try to take advantage of what's going on in the market as well as what’s happening in your barns.”