Work package 2

The use of animal based measures to monitor lesions at the abattoir

Task 2.1 (Leader: DMRI) Automated detection of tail lesions at the abattoir

The sensor and software development will start with the specification of the requirements from the perspective of both slaughterhouse and farmer. The placement of the equipment on the slaughter line, the requirements for data management (data system integration) and the maximum equipment cost must be determined. A full system will cover camera, light, image analysis algorithms, and data integration. An expert reference scoring of tail lesions and length together with the ante mortem control will be established, and expert reference evaluations provided for initial algorithm development and feasibility testing. A pre-prototype for testing functional performance will be designed and built to record images at the slaughter line for algorithm improvements. When the required functional performance is obtained a prototype sufficiently sturdy to survive the slaughter line environment will be built and verified inline at the slaughterhouse.

Task 2.2 (Leader: INRA, partner: FiBL) Use of automated lesions scoring during lairage

The haemoglobin detection system developed in T1.3 will be set up in a commercial abattoir in Switzerland over a period of 3 months. During that period the incidence of skin lesions will be recorded visually and related to the observations of the automated recording system. The results of the comparison will be discussed with abattoir staff as well as with the farmer focus group in CH (T1.4).

Task 2.3 (Leader: DMRI, partner: WLR) Implementation and validation of tail lesion scoring at the abattoir

The prototype system of T2.1 will be implemented on two commercial slaughter lines (DK and NL) and the effect of feedback to farmer evaluated during one year of operation. The system will regularly be verified with respect to sensitivity and specificity by visual observations using the expert reference scoring anihwa ERA-Net Proposal 073 PigWatch 6 of 36 established in T2.1. An automated feedback will be developed. Farmers will take part in the farmer focus groups together with advisors to initiate corrective actions. The effect of the feedback to the farmer will be evaluated as part of T1.4.