The size of livestock farms have increased dramatically in recent times, that resulted in large number of animals or birds cared for by decreasing number of livestock producers. Thus, farmers are finding increasingly difficult to take care of the animals in a satisfactory manner. This may result in a decreased technical and economic performance of the farm and lower welfare for the animals.
Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) could assist livestock producers through automated, continuous monitoring of the animals. The observation data can be translated into key indicators on animal welfare, animal health, productivity and environmental impact. A number of PLF tools have been developed at laboratory levels and as prototypes.
The overall objective of the EU-PLF project is to bring some of those tools from the lab to the farm. The process of making those tools operational for the end-user in dairy, pig and poultry farms will be studied in details and a generic procedure (Blueprint) will be derived that will help people in the future to develop Precision Livestock Farming concepts into operational tools. This blueprint represents a manual for farmers and high tech SME’s that are keen to develop new PLF tools. It will be a reference tool offering pragmatic guidance on how Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) systems can be applied on farm level in order to create value for the farmer and other stakeholders.
Highly experienced European teams from different disciplines with a proven track record in animal and PLF-related fields (animal scientists, veterinarians, ethologists, bio-engineers, engineers, social scientists and economists, leading industrial market players in the livestock industry and high tech SME’s) have joined forces to deliver a useful PLF Blueprint.
To ensure that the Blueprint assists the European livestock industry beyond the duration of the project, 50 SME’s or potential starters will be identified all over Europe to play a key role in the EU-PLF project. With a competition for SME’s and starters, the best ideas will get funding to design a PLF-prototype using their high tech innovative solutions. In collaboration with a leading industrial PLF-partner, it is envisaged that they will use the Blueprint to bring their prototype to farm level. This will allow the development of new business models while linking high tech SME’s to European industry players to create new PLF-products with global impact.