In one of the largest-ever pilots of wearable technology, HerdDogg teams with Australias foremost authority on sustainable beef production to showcase how its system can deliver remote livestock monitoring to Australian producers.
HerdDogg Goes Big Down Under, Partners with Meat & Livestock Australia on Large-Scale Animal Health Pilot Study
Contributed by | HerdDogg
HerdDogg, an innovator of precision livestock and remote animal health solutions, is partnering with Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) for the largest real- time cattle health pilot ever conducted. The MLA-funded pilot will install DoggTags™ on 10,000 animals on several grazing properties and feedlots across New South Wales, Australia.
The goal of the MLA-HerdDogg pilot is to provide earlier indications of animal illness, to improve overall animal health, and to test a new long-range Bluetooth system capable of transmitting biometric and proximity-based behaviors at a distance of 300 meters from the DoggBone™ readers.
Founded in 2015 by Melissa Brandao, a serial entrepreneur, HerdDogg markets a patented IoT-based system that includes DoggTags (attached to the animals’ ears); the cloud-connected DoggBone readers (placed at strategic sites around the farm, these gather livestock biometrics and behavioral data); and the HerdDogg mobile app (provides anytime/anywhere access and alerts for each animal’s health record).
“Until now, technology solutions for the beef industry have been expensive and unsuitable for remote areas, whereas our low-cost HerdDogg system is designed for grazing operations,” said Melissa Brandao, founder and CEO of HerdDogg. “For this trial, we’re eager to prove that HerdDogg can provide animal managers with early warning of illness by automating the analysis of animal biometrics. This delivers two important benefits: reduced labor costs and improved animal health and wellbeing.”
Data gathered will be made available to Australian researchers to further develop insights for the benefit of HerdDogg’s offering and the advancement of the Australian meat and livestock industry
MLA is actively involved in demonstrating how Australian red meat is produced sustainably in welfare-focused systems. By approving funding for this trial at its August meeting, the MLA Board is again demonstrating global thought leadership for the entire global industry. The MLA just published a report  that combined the results of several research activities aimed at exploring and uncovering the potential value for ranchers if they could remotely monitor the location, behavior and state (LBS) of the animals under their management. The report noted that positive economic impacts can only be realized if the hardware can be provided at appropriate cost, producers actually adopt the technology, and decisions that drive profitability can be made from the LBS data.
“Despite significant private-sector activity, we have yet to see a commercial solution that Australian producers can easily buy off the shelf and implement on an extensive grazing property,” said Sean Starling, general manager of research, development & innovation at Meat & Livestock Australia. “We are eager to see how the HerdDogg system can impact positively on the way livestock are managed across the industry and bring significant economic and non-financial value.”
Data gathered during HerdDogg/MLA pilot will be used to enhance HerdDogg installations already underway in Australia. Researchers such as Mark Trotter are eager to see wider deployment of tags across different Australian grazing systems, because this will allow researchers to really explore a rich data set from which a range of behavioral algorithms and alerts can be developed.
“We are currently testing the HerdDogg system on cattle here at CQUniversity,” said Mark Trotter, associate professor of precision livestock at Central Queensland University. “We’ve been using these types of sensors in a research context for years, and the data tells us an enormous amount about the animal: its reproductive status, grazing activity, health, and welfare. The HerdDogg system aims to take this from an expensive scientific tool to something that can be affordably used by any red-meat producer, and that will make a big impact on the livestock industries.”
HerdDogg aims to capitalize on a growing industry that is hungry for animal biometric data
The large-animal livestock industry exceeds 4.5 billion animals and one trillion dollars. It is growing globally, even while the labor pool and expertise to care for individual animals is shrinking. The trial with MLA advances HerdDogg toward widespread commercialization of its field-tested and proven system to monitor herd health to boost livestock profitability and sustainability. By transmitting current herd information direct from field to cloud to mobile app, farmers now have real-time answers to key questions such as:
- Is my animal in heat?
- Is she ill or injured?
- Is she in the right pen or pasture?
HerdDogg requires minimal technical expertise and provides immediate insights without any previous health history or animal records. In field trials, farmers have seen two- to three-day early detection of illness and received real-time status updates on heats and missing animals, enabling them to get out to the animals faster. HerdDogg is already responding to strong demand through its market presence in North America, Australia, and Brazil.
About Meat & Livestock Australia
MLA is a producer-owned company that delivers world-class research & development and marketing outcomes that benefit Australian cattle, sheep, and goat producers. Working in collaboration with the Australian Government and the wider red meat industry, MLA's mission is to deliver value to levy payers by investing in initiatives that contribute to producer profitability, sustainability and global competitiveness. http://www.mla.com.au.
Headquartered in Ashland, Oregon, HerdDogg Inc. is a venture-backed agtech startup focused on increasing herd happiness by deriving unparalleled insights into key indicators of animal health and wellbeing. The HerdDogg system provides rapid and accurate breeding and health insights on individual animals, whether in the barn or pasture. HerdDogg reduces labor costs while increasing herd productivity and sustainability. For more information, visit http://www.herddogg.com.
 Demonstrating the value of animal location and behaviour data in the red meat value chain, MLA, August 8, 2018
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AgriTechTomorrow
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