Infrared thermography in the study of animal emotions, physiology and health

Date: 06/09/2018

The Roslin Institute, Edinburgh


Organised by Helena Telkanranta (University of Bristol), Marianne Farish (SRUC) and Malcolm Mitchell (SRUC).


Key Information


Infrared thermography, also known as thermal imaging, is increasingly used in developing new methods to assess animal welfare. One of the factors slowing down their development has been a scarcity of courses and training tailored specifically for animal welfare researchers. This workshop provides a comprehensive overview on both theory and practice. The contents have been planned to yield benefits to participants with a range of different levels of expertise, from those with no prior experience of thermography to those who have already published on it.  

The workshop will take place at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, on Thursday 6th September from 8:30 to 16:00.

Registration is now open and can be found here. The registration fee is £20 for students and £30 for others, which includes lunch, two coffee breaks and transport from the Roslin Institute to a farm and back for a practical demonstration. Travel to the Roslin Institute and accommodation are to be arranged and paid for by the participants themselves. Please note that if you have not used the Bristol Online Shop before you will first need to register with the shop and then for the event. Top tip for the online shop: there have previously been some issues caused by doing these things consecutively, so we recommend closing your browser between registering for the shop and booking your place at the event. The deadline for registration is Monday 27th August.

Workshops are restricted to members of the network, if you are not yet a member of the network it is free to join and the details are available here: 


If you are planning on attending the meeting, some recommendations for hotels near the meeting venue can be found below:

The Original Rosslyn Hotel: website

Chapel Cross Guest House, Roslin: website

The Craigie Hotel, Penicuik: website



Workshop Aims


The aim of this workshop is to provide the participants with the knowledge needed to plan accurate thermographic studies and to avoid common pitfalls.

The talks and discussion will cover topics such as planning for accurate thermal imaging and data extraction; understanding of the various and simultaneous physiological processes affecting the results; use of thermography in various fields of animal welfare science; and prospects for developing welfare assessment methods for the future, with selected success stories from parallel fields of research serving as examples of how to plan pathways to practical applications.

The speakers will be:

Malcolm Mitchell (SRUC), Helena Telkanranta (University of Bristol), Dorothy McKeegan (University of Glasgow), Mark Hansen (University of West of England), Tomas Norton (KU Leuven, Belgium), Mari Vainionpaa (Veterinary Clinic Askel, Finland).

The day will also include practical on-farm demonstrations with cattle and pigs. As an animal health precaution regarding the practical session on the farm, please be advised that no clothing worn on any other farm can be worn there, and anyone entering the pig unit has to have been out of contact with pigs for at least 72 hours. The practical session will provide the participants with the rare opportunity to get familiar with a range of different thermal cameras under expert supervision.