Three universities have developed a new tool that predicts tail biting. Aggressive biting behaviour is automatically detected via cameras and analysed via smart algorithms. Preventive measures can then be used to intervene quickly and in a timely manner.
The project is part of the European project TailBiteAdvice. Researchers from the Universities of Ireland (Teagasc), Denmark (Aarhus University) and Belgium (KU Leuven) will soon be able to predict whether pigs will bite their tails or not. Using a 2D camera, smart algorithms detect changes in drinking and eating behaviour, social behaviour and the mutual interaction of pigs. In particular, combining the behaviour of the biting pig and the reactions of the bitten pigs provides interesting data and insights. The tool makes it possible to quickly notice if pigs begin to show aggressive biting behaviour and to intervene in a timely and rapid manner.
The project should reduce the known problem, which causes a lot of economic damage. After all, the tail biting has already caused enough headaches for pig farmers. It can cause all kinds of wounds and infections. It often arises because pigs get bored or stressed because they have no food. Also, the climate or the health of the pig can provoke tail biting. Just because there are so many causes, it is often difficult for a pig farmer to predict when and why the tail biting continues. The project runs for a total of 3 years. In 2 years, the project should be completed.