Document type : Article published in Réussir Bovins viande
Author: C. D.
Preview: New technologies allow many biological and ethnological variables to be measured at low cost, continuously and in real time, and to develop indicators and information for farmers and other stakeholders. They can help quantify animal activity and its evolution. Last, behavioral changes can be early or visible signs of health or welfare problems or provide information on "positive emotional states". In this context, the Casdar Bebop project (1) intends to develop simplified and innovative protocols to evaluate the welfare of bullocks in feedlots.
"The goal of this project is to show that it is possible to develop a video system for automated behavior analysis," explained Luc Mirabito of the Institut de l'élevage at the Smart élevage webinar. After defining the behaviors of interest (posture, activities and interactions, stereotypies, etc.), those involved in the study are testing behavior recognition algorithms on video sequences and then seeking to produce real-time behavioral indicators from an automated video analysis.
Obtaining tools for behavioural analysis
"For this project we are using two very different case studies: the first involves young Limousin bulls housed in an evaluation centre and raised in pens of six animals, while the second is a more usual situation where young Charolais cattle are kept in pens of about fifteen animals. For the moment, our results are at a very early stage and show encouraging responsiveness and precision. These suggest there is a good chance of producing behavioural-analysis tools for both researchers and practitioners," explains Luc Mirabito, before telling us that the final results will be available in three years time.
(1) This project, with an end date of June 2023, is led by the Institut de l'Élevage in partnership with INRAE and NeoTec-Vision, a commercial company. It is being carried out in two experimental facilities, the Lanaud national quality-study centre and the Établières experimental farm. See https://www.cnr-bea.fr/2020/04/23/projet-bebop-evaluation-bien-etre-bovins-engraissement/