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The potential use of idENTICHIP with bio-thermo for monitoring deep body temperature in livestock (pigs). - AW0507

The project will evaluate the use of a temperature sensitive transponder microchip (TST) for the monitoring of deep body temperature in mature female pigs. The device also functions as an electronic identification chip. An appropriate implantation/injection site for the TST will be identified. The body temperature output from the TST will be compared to values obtained from surgically implanted radio-telemetry packages proven to yield accurate and reliable continuous measures of deep body or core temperature. Deep body temperature will also be correlated with surface temperature measurements made using infra-red non-contact thermometry. All body temperature measurements will be made initially under thermo-neutral control conditions and then in controlled climate chambers where heat and cold stress will be imposed. The changes in core and surface temperatures in response to these thermal challenges will be related to environmental temperature and to each other. The accuracy and time courses of response as determined by each approach will be compared. The conditions selected will simulate the range of temperatures that might be encountered in commercial animal transport and production. If the TST performance can be validated under these conditions the system will be employed in future studies to monitor the deep body temperature of pigs during both commercial transport trials and experimental transportation studies and specifically in proposed investigations on transcontinental transport of breeding pigs. It is proposed that the TST offers considerable practical advantages for these applications if its performance is satisfactory. The system requires less invasive procedures than the more comprehensive approach of implanted radio-telemetry, is low cost and can be operated in laboratory and field trials by personnel requiring minimal training and relates body temperature measurements to a unique electronic identify for each animal. The technique would complement the existing radio-telemetric and spot measure approaches to physiological monitoring of livestock in transit. The benefits would include increased understanding of physiological stress imposed by transportation, which, in turn, would help inform welfare policy. If the device is validated in pigs then its application in calves and sheep will be investigated.
(1) Establish the optimum method and site for implantation in pigs
(2) Evaluate the performance of the system in mature pigs
(3) Compare the performance with the proven implanted radio-telemetry system
4) Evaluate the performance under a range of environmental conditions
Project Documents
• Final Report : AW0507 Final Report   (11231k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2005

Cost: £25,173
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Roslin Institute, Edinburgh (BBSRC)
Animal Welfare              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Welfare