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Further development of non-invasive sensor systems for pigs (became AW0911) - AW0505

Description
The main objective is to develop further the non-invasive biotelemetry sensors created under contract AW0814 into a complete, robust system for use by enforcement officers and researchers to monitor the body temperature and heart rate of pigs in transport. This will include a) further miniaturisation of the sensors in order to integrate both heart rate and temperature sensors into a single device, b) developing a real-time data logging unit for use within a vehicle cabin, c) improving the robustness of the 32-channel environmental monitoring system, and d) investigating mechanisms for switching the sensors on and off in order to optimise battery life.
There is a need for non-invasive devices that can measure key physiological parameters of stress in animals that are being transported, in a manner that allows these data to be related to factors associated with the transport environment (e.g. vehicle design, the stocking and handling of the animals). In addition the devices should be flexible enough to be used with other species and in other welfare contexts (e.g. other livestock on farms or at abattoirs). This relates to DEFRA’s policy objective to develop a scientifically informed understanding of the ways in which the welfare of animals before and during slaughter may be compromised and how these can be avoided.
The results of this research will be used to provide:
1) Non-invasive sensors that a) accurately monitor the body temperature and heart rate of pigs, b) can potentially be used on other livestock, and c) are easy to use under everyday transport, farming and slaughter procedures.
2) Robust remote environmental sensors that integrate with the above sensors and are easy to use in a wide range of livestock transport, farming and abattoir situations.
Objective
The main objective is to develop further the non-invasive biotelemetry sensors created under contract AW0814 into a complete, robust system for use by enforcement officers and researchers to monitor the body temperature and heart rate of pigs in transport. This will include a)further miniaturisation of the sensors in order to integrate both heart rate and temperature sensors into a single device, b) developing a real-time data logging unit for use within a vehicle cabin, c)improving the robustness of the 32-channel environmental monitoring system, and d) investigating mechanisms for switching the sensors on and off in order to optimise battery.

Objectives 1: Completion of thermal IR measurement of effects of air flow on the pinna of pigs.

Objective 2: Completion of new integrated heart rate and temperature sensor.

Objective 3: Completion of farm trials of new sensor system

Objective 4: Completion of any necessary modifications to sensors bsed on outcome of farm trials.

Objective 5: Completion of cabin-based datalogger including robust environmental sensors.

Objective 6: Completion of all sensor development and validation.
Project Documents
• Final Report : AW0505 Final report   (8925k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2005

Cost: £168,037
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Central Science Laboratory
Keywords
Animal Welfare              
Biotechnology              
Livestock              
Plants and Animals              
Transport              
Welfare              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare