Report on Precision Livestock Farming Workshop


This AWRN-funded workshop took place on 20th November 2020. The workshop took place on Zoom due to COVID restrictions and over 80 AWRN members participated. Whilst the majority were from the UK, there were a number of international participants including from Europe, USA, Canada and Taiwan as summarised using Mentimeter.  

Mark Rutter started the event off with his fascinating talk introducing PLF and giving a synopsis of his thoughts about the use of technology in welfare monitoring. This was followed by Isabelle Veissier who gave a stimulating talk on the potential benefits and risks of PLF and needs in terms of developing algorithms. The delegates were then split into breakout groups and asked to discuss up to 5 commercially available and up to 5 promising PLF technologies before feeding back to the rest of the delegates.

After lunch Emma Baxter gave a fantastic insight into future applications for PLF with her talk on Facial expression monitoring in pigs. This was followed by a second breakout activity in which the groups were asked to evaluate the potential impacts of PLF on animal welfare and how to address them.

The final presentation of the day was by Ian Werkheiser and gave us an insight as to some of the underexamined ethical perspectives on precision livestock farming, such as de-skilling and job losses.  These fantastic infographics were put together by Juliette after the events and summarise some of the potential negative impacts of PLF and ways that we can mitigate them. 


All of the presentations were recorded and AWRN members can view them by logging in to the website and selecting the "Precision Livestock Farming" on the Meeting Presentation menu.