Your data on MRCVSonline
The nature of the services provided by Vision Media means that we might obtain certain information about you.
Please read our Data Protection and Privacy Policy for details.

In addition, (with your consent) some parts of our website may store a 'cookie' in your browser for the purposes of
functionality or performance monitoring.
Click here to manage your settings.
If you would like to forward this story on to a friend, simply fill in the form below and click send.

Your friend's email:
Your email:
Your name:
Send Cancel

Research to study artificial intelligence use in cow diagnosis
The AI is able to track the motion of cows, as well as recognising each cow.

It will investigate if AI could detect disease earlier.

Researchers from the University of Bristol have received funding to study how artificial intelligence (AI) might be used to detect disease in dairy cows earlier.

The project is one of 14 to receive a share of £9m funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), in a move to combat endemic livestock disease.

The project, led by Professor Andrew Dowsey from Bristol Veterinary School, will see a collaboration of University of Bristol researchers in veterinary medicine, animal behaviour, computer vision and AI.

The group will use AI to monitor the social interactions of cattle to identify indications of developing mastitis or lameness, which are two of the most significant diseases affecting the UK dairy industry.

These diseases compromise the health and welfare of dairy cows, which can lead to financial losses for farmers and the industry. Cows that suffer from disease have also been found to contribute a higher proportion of methane emissions, affecting sustainability in the sector.

The current technology used for disease detection in dairy cows tends to focus on observable symptoms that are associated with later stages of the disease.

Professor Dowsey and the research team will be investigating whether AI can monitor social interactions to identify diseases at an earlier stage.

Previous studies have recognised a correlation between cattle in the early stages of disease and reduced levels of social interaction. However, farmers are frequently too busy to closely monitor social interactions between their cows.

The AI developed by the research team is able to track the motion of cows, as well as recognising each cow by its distinctive coat pattern.

Once the AI has been trained to spot behaviour changes that indicate early-stage mastitis and lameness, it will be deployed to recruited farms for testing.

Professor Dowsey said: “We are excited to have been given the opportunity to fuse Bristol Veterinary School’s world-class expertise in animal behaviour with our recent developments in artificial intelligence for livestock monitoring.

“Detecting subtle changes in social behaviour could hold the key to the early diagnosis of disease in dairy cattle."

Image (C) Shutterstock

Become a member or log in to add this story to your CPD history

VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Duchess of York stars in charity calendar

The National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) has released its charity calendar for 2024, featuring Sarah, Duchess of York and a selection of the retired service animals the charity supports.

The 12 images were taken by animal photographer Gerry Slade and include retired police dogs and horses, a former border force detector dog, and a retired fire investigation and urban search and rescue dog.

Sarah, Duchess of York, who is a patron of the charity, appears alongside retired police dog Jessie in the photograph for December.

So far this year, the charity has given more than 40,000 in grants to help former service animals with their veterinary care. After retirement, they receive no financial support from the Government and obtaining affordable insurance can be difficult.