Automated assessment of broiler chicken welfare using optical flow patterns in relation to behaviour, disease risk, environment and production.

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Zoology

Abstract

Real improvements to farm animal welfare could be made if there were practical, objective, easy to use ways of assessing welfare routinely on commercial farms, not as a substitute for good stockmanship, but as an extension to it, when there is no-one around. Now that we have inexpensive camera technology available off the shelf, it might seem a simple matter to install cameras on farms, but how do we make sense of the mass of information cameras provide to enable us to assess the welfare of the animals?
In the case of broiler (meat) chickens, we have shown that a promising way forward is to use a computer to monitor the camera images and to pick out changes in the 'optical flow' patterns caused by movements of the chicken flocks. 'Optical flow' works by detecting the rate of change in light and darkness in different parts of an image and so is particularly good at picking up movement. However, what seems to be most revealing about welfare is not the amount of movement (quiet flocks can have just as good welfare as active ones) but the heterogeneiity or mixture of movement that they show.
One of the biggest welfare problems in broiler chickens is that many of them become lame and have great difficulty walking. The optical flow patterns of a healthy flock (all walking well) are much more uniform than those shown by flocks with a large proportion of lame birds because lame birds walk more slowly and there is a greater range of walking speeds in flocks with poorer welfare. The optical flow system picks up the greater range of movement in unhealthy flocks, thus giving a direct connection between a major welfare concern (lameness) at the individual level and the optical flow patterns seen at flock level.
Our preliminary trials have been so successful at picking out broiler flocks with welfare problems (% mortality, walking ability, condition of feet and legs) that we now want to test it out on a much wider range of broiler farms than we have attempted so far and to relate what the optical flow patterns are showing more closely to what is causing disturbances to health and welfare. So in addition to continuing to look at lameness and the leg damage that broilers can be subject to, we want to see whether changes in optical flow could also reveal the presence of disease, perhaps before the birds are showing clinical signs. We will focus on diseases that are of particular concern to poultry producers (Salmonella, necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis) as well as diseases that are carried by poultry but primarily affect humans (Campylobacter). All of these organisms alter the gut of chickens, often making their faeces runny, which makes the litter messy, which in turn gives the birds ulcerated feet and damaged legs ('hock burn'). This connection between gut health and external damage that could affect walking behaviour makes gut diseases a prime candidate for showing up as disturbances of optical flow at flock level. If we can show that a connection does exist between disease levels and optical flow disturbances, this could be important in allowing farmers to detect disease and poor welfare at an early stage and so intervene before they become real problems.
To ensure our results are relevant to the way most broilers are farmed today, all our work will be done on commercial farms and in collaboration with a leading chicken breeder and a major producer. Funding by the BBSRC will, however, make sure that our results are seen as independent of commercial pressures.
Our ultimate goal, extending beyond the life of this project, is to develop the optical flow system so that it is not just a way of assessing chicken welfare but also becomes an important management tool for producers, enabling them to reduce disease levels and manage their flocks more efficiently as well. If producers can see the commercial advantages of managing flocks with low disease and high welfare, everyone gains, especially the animals.

Technical Summary

Our goal is to develop a practical, objective, easy to use way of assessing animal welfare that can be applied routinely on commercial farms. With broiler (meat) chickens, we have already shown that a camera/computer system can be used to detect disturbances to 'optical flow' patterns caused by movements of a flock inside commercial broiler houses. Changes in the skew and kurtosis of optical flow are correlated with key outcome measures such as final flock mortality, mean gait score (indication of the % of lame birds), and the numbers of birds with damaged hocks. The aim of this project is to build on these basic findings by using optical flow technology to develop a new management and welfare monitoring tool for broiler producers, inexpensive enough to be widely used on commercial farms and informative enough to represent a step-change in animal welfare assessment.
The objectives are
1. To validate the use of optical flow as a method for assessing the welfare of commercial broiler chickens in a wider range of housing types, genotypes and environments than has so far been attempted. We will test the hypothesis that variations in optical flow patterns are associated with variations in established welfare indicators such as % mortality, gaits score and leg/foot health.
2. To test the hypothesis that variations in optical flow patterns are associated with variation in disease burden, particularly those diseases and zoonoses that affect gut health (Coccidia (Eimeria), Salmonella, Campylobacter and Clostridium) and are of particular concern to the poultry industry. If the hypothesis is true, then husbandry interventions in real-time on farm become possible and could make a substantial contribution to reducing the burden of chicken and human disease.
3. To test the hypothesis that variations in optical flow are mediated through changes in the behaviour of individuals associated with increased risk of infection associated with poor litter quality.

Planned Impact

Beneficiaries include:
The poultry industry (breeders, producers, retailers) who will benefit from having access to a new inexpensive means of assessing the welfare of poultry that is objective and gives them continuous information about the state of their flocks. They will have a management tool that will enable them to rear chickens to higher standards of health and welfare and to achieve economically desirable evenness in their birds. Farm managers and veterinarians will have a way of detecting health problems before they become serious and while the birds are still young enough for remedial steps to be taken.

The industrial beneficiaries will gain in at least two ways. Firstly they will have available a new way of assessing their flocks even when a stockman is not even present. This will enable them to give a clear indication to their customers that improving animal welfare is a priority for them and for the companies to set higher standards for chicken health and welfare. This in turn could have important economic consequences for them as they can use this in the marketing of their birds. Secondly, the algorithms developed for the camera/computer system pick out variation and unevenness in flocks and therefore will help producers to grow their birds in a standard way. This is commercially important because companies need to deliver a predictable product of chickens of the same weight. Evenness of body size also makes flock management easier (e.g. in raising drinkers to a height that all birds can reach) and slaughter house management more efficient and humans (e.g. in setting equipment to deal optimally with the whole flock)

Animal welfare scientists will benefit from having a research tool that will enable the to collect welfare data on a much larger scale than has been possible before and thus to base their conclusions on much higher quality evidence. The application of the optical flow camera/computer system to broiler chickens, will pave the way to implementing the same for other species and to other welfare issues such as predicting outbreaks of tail-biting in pigs before serious damage is done.

Policy makers (Governments, EU, NGOs, supermarkets etc) will benefit from having access to higher standards of evidence and so be able to make sounder, more evidence-based decisions. The debate on how to make livestock production more efficient while still giving priority to animal welfare will be informed by much better evidence of what actually does improve chicken health and welfare.

The general public will benefit from knowing that something is being actively done to improve the welfare of an animal that arouses the concern of many people and has been the focus of considerable media attention.

The main pathways to impact will be through working directly with a large chicken breeder company and a major chicken producer, obtaining feedback from farmers and using their links with customers throughout the poultry industry to show-case what camera/computer system can do for them. We will also engage with the public through open days, seminars, popular articles in the farming press and online, and with academic researchers through conferences and papers in the scientific literature.

Publications

10 25 50

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Dawkins (2019) Animal Welfare as Preventative Medicine in Animal Welfare

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Dawkins M (2017) Animal welfare with and without consciousness in Journal of Zoology

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Dawkins M (2017) Animal welfare and efficient farming: is conflict inevitable? in Animal Production Science

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DAWKINS MS (2018) Advances in Poultry Welfare

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Dawkins MS (2014) Precision farming and animal welfare in Science in Parliamenr

 
Description We field tested a new system for automatically assessing the welfare of broiler chicken on commercial. farms, We measured the movements of flocks with cctv cameras and were able to show that these correlated with key welfare outcomes such as hockburn, pododermatitis, lameness and mortality. Furthermore, differences between flocks in these key welfare outcomes became apparent when the birds were only a few days old, showing that the system was able to predict problems before they became apparent. This would make it particularly valuable as a flock management tool as it would be able to give farmers early warning for welfare problems before these became serious.
A key finding was that the system could also detect the difference between flocks that would later test positive for Campylobacter and those that would remain campylobacter free throughout their lives. Here, too, differences in flock behaviour were detectable when the birds were less than a week old, far earlier than Campylobacter is detectable by standard culture methods.
Exploitation Route It has already been taken forward. Further funding has been forthcoming, a trademark name, OpticFlock, has been registered and we have recently signed a Development LIcense with the Munters Corporation to make OpticFlock commercially available
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Environment

URL http://users.ox.ac.uk/~snikwad/index
 
Description OPTICFLOCK have generated considerable interest in several companies. We are currently negotiating a Development LIcence with one of them to facilitate commercialisation
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Economic

 
Description ANIHWA
Amount € 729,000 (EUR)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 02/2019
 
Description BBSRC IAA University of Oxford
Amount £300,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/S50676X/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2021
 
Description EPSRC Impact Acceleration Award
Amount £89,396 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R511742/1 
Organisation University of Oxford 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2018 
End 07/2019
 
Description Follow on Fund
Amount £240,000 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/N012518/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2016 
End 06/2017
 
Description Sparking Impact (administered through University of Oxford)
Amount £9,500 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2014 
End 04/2014
 
Description University Challenge Seed Fund
Amount £51,030 (GBP)
Organisation University of Oxford 
Department Oxford University Innovation
Sector Private
Country United Kingdom
Start 06/2014 
End 12/2014
 
Title OpticFlock: automated assessment of broiler chicken welfare 
Description OpticFlock is a camera/computer system that can be placed inside commercial chicken houses and gives a continuous 'verdict' on the welfare of the birds throughout their lives. It works by taking visual images from a cctv camera and running them through an 'optical flow' algorithm pre-stalled on a small computer. 'Optical flow' measures the rate of change of image brightness and is able to pick up the statistical patterns of movement made by flocks as they move. Our background research has shown that certain key optical flow statistics- particularly the mean rate of movement and the kurtosis (a measure of variation) are highly predictive of key welfare outcomes (especially hockburn and lameness) and are even able to predict which flocks are at greatest risk of later testing positive for Campylobacter, days or weeks before this is detectable by standard culture methods. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Year Produced 2012 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Negotiations for a Development Licence with the Munters Corporation for the commercialization of OpticFlock 
 
Title welfare assessment tool (OPTICFLOCK) 
Description Use of camera technology to assess welfare in broiler chickens. We have developed a system (OPTICFLOCK) that analyses video data on farms and send the results to a web portal. Farmers can be sent a daily updates the state of their flocks in comparison to standard or reference flocks. 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We have received a great deal of interest from the commercial world and have entered into development agreements with some multi-national companies. We are still validating the application to a new species (pigs) 
URL http://opticflock.com
 
Description Commercial development of OpticFlock 
Organisation Munters Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have shared our data on optical flow with Munters so that we could all compare our results on welfare with their results on environmental variables. A year-long trial was conducted to allow sufficient data to be collected for such a comparison
Collaborator Contribution As a result of this preliminary collaboration, Munters indicted that they would be interested in proceeding to discussion over a Development Licence in which they would look at the feasibility of incorporating OpticFlock data onto their Sonar/Echo-Mesh platform. we are in process of negotiating the development licence, which could immensely befeit the commercialisation of OpticFlock.
Impact This collaboration is multidisciplinary: Animal welfare, software development, statistical analysis The outputs are currently being developed. This week (February 2020) we have just received the equipment from Munters that will enable us to see whether it can receive and display OpticFlock data. Tests on a trial farm in the US are planned for later this year.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Commercial test of OPTICFLOCK during feed trials 
Organisation DuPont
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have agreed to analyse cctv footage for trials due to start at the beginning of March 2019
Collaborator Contribution Dupongt are setting up the trials, making the video recordings and suppling them to us
Impact Trials pallned to start in March 2019 so now outputs yet
Start Year 2018
 
Description Commercial trials with a fire to integration of information 
Organisation Munters Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We have collected and contributed Optical flow data on the behaviour of broiler flocks.
Collaborator Contribution Munters have contributed production and environmental data. We are continuing discussions and are currently drawing up NDAs tp facilitate this.
Impact Multidisciplinary study : behaviour (Oxford University), production (Munters).This collaboration is one of the ways we plan to bring OPTICFLOCK to market. The preliminary trials in the UK have been completed and discussions are under way for further on-farm trials.
Start Year 2017
 
Description DIFAGH 
Organisation French National Institute of Agricultural Research
Department Microbiology and the Food Chain
Country France 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution This project represents an EMIDA-ERANET programme linking a number of laboratories together. I lead the overall programme and all research teams including my own are working on a range of collaborative projects. We bring expertise in gut immunology, avian immunology, T/B cell repertoire analyses, innate immunity and infection biology to the consortium.
Collaborator Contribution All of the partners engage in cross-laboratory collaborations. The tasks are divided as follows: Immunity (Oxford and Munich), Germ-free chickens (Munich, Oxford and INRA), Campylobacter infections (Hannover), Salmonella infections (INRA), enterocyte biology (Jerusalem), microbiota biology (Lohmann), microbiome profiling and proteomics (Brno).
Impact A series of publications are currently being prepared, most of which involve multiple partners and can be considered multidisciplinary by brining together expertise across a range of areas including immunology, poultry health, infectious disease, microbiology and mathematical biology. One manuscript was recently published led by the Hannover group on the ability of different Campylobacter isolates (from humans and chickens) to colonise chickens and that these induced different immune responses in the chickens PMID 26827832.
Start Year 2011
 
Description DIFAGH 
Organisation Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project represents an EMIDA-ERANET programme linking a number of laboratories together. I lead the overall programme and all research teams including my own are working on a range of collaborative projects. We bring expertise in gut immunology, avian immunology, T/B cell repertoire analyses, innate immunity and infection biology to the consortium.
Collaborator Contribution All of the partners engage in cross-laboratory collaborations. The tasks are divided as follows: Immunity (Oxford and Munich), Germ-free chickens (Munich, Oxford and INRA), Campylobacter infections (Hannover), Salmonella infections (INRA), enterocyte biology (Jerusalem), microbiota biology (Lohmann), microbiome profiling and proteomics (Brno).
Impact A series of publications are currently being prepared, most of which involve multiple partners and can be considered multidisciplinary by brining together expertise across a range of areas including immunology, poultry health, infectious disease, microbiology and mathematical biology. One manuscript was recently published led by the Hannover group on the ability of different Campylobacter isolates (from humans and chickens) to colonise chickens and that these induced different immune responses in the chickens PMID 26827832.
Start Year 2011
 
Description DIFAGH 
Organisation Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Country Israel 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project represents an EMIDA-ERANET programme linking a number of laboratories together. I lead the overall programme and all research teams including my own are working on a range of collaborative projects. We bring expertise in gut immunology, avian immunology, T/B cell repertoire analyses, innate immunity and infection biology to the consortium.
Collaborator Contribution All of the partners engage in cross-laboratory collaborations. The tasks are divided as follows: Immunity (Oxford and Munich), Germ-free chickens (Munich, Oxford and INRA), Campylobacter infections (Hannover), Salmonella infections (INRA), enterocyte biology (Jerusalem), microbiota biology (Lohmann), microbiome profiling and proteomics (Brno).
Impact A series of publications are currently being prepared, most of which involve multiple partners and can be considered multidisciplinary by brining together expertise across a range of areas including immunology, poultry health, infectious disease, microbiology and mathematical biology. One manuscript was recently published led by the Hannover group on the ability of different Campylobacter isolates (from humans and chickens) to colonise chickens and that these induced different immune responses in the chickens PMID 26827832.
Start Year 2011
 
Description DIFAGH 
Organisation Lohmann Animal Health
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution This project represents an EMIDA-ERANET programme linking a number of laboratories together. I lead the overall programme and all research teams including my own are working on a range of collaborative projects. We bring expertise in gut immunology, avian immunology, T/B cell repertoire analyses, innate immunity and infection biology to the consortium.
Collaborator Contribution All of the partners engage in cross-laboratory collaborations. The tasks are divided as follows: Immunity (Oxford and Munich), Germ-free chickens (Munich, Oxford and INRA), Campylobacter infections (Hannover), Salmonella infections (INRA), enterocyte biology (Jerusalem), microbiota biology (Lohmann), microbiome profiling and proteomics (Brno).
Impact A series of publications are currently being prepared, most of which involve multiple partners and can be considered multidisciplinary by brining together expertise across a range of areas including immunology, poultry health, infectious disease, microbiology and mathematical biology. One manuscript was recently published led by the Hannover group on the ability of different Campylobacter isolates (from humans and chickens) to colonise chickens and that these induced different immune responses in the chickens PMID 26827832.
Start Year 2011
 
Description DIFAGH 
Organisation University of Bern
Country Switzerland 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project represents an EMIDA-ERANET programme linking a number of laboratories together. I lead the overall programme and all research teams including my own are working on a range of collaborative projects. We bring expertise in gut immunology, avian immunology, T/B cell repertoire analyses, innate immunity and infection biology to the consortium.
Collaborator Contribution All of the partners engage in cross-laboratory collaborations. The tasks are divided as follows: Immunity (Oxford and Munich), Germ-free chickens (Munich, Oxford and INRA), Campylobacter infections (Hannover), Salmonella infections (INRA), enterocyte biology (Jerusalem), microbiota biology (Lohmann), microbiome profiling and proteomics (Brno).
Impact A series of publications are currently being prepared, most of which involve multiple partners and can be considered multidisciplinary by brining together expertise across a range of areas including immunology, poultry health, infectious disease, microbiology and mathematical biology. One manuscript was recently published led by the Hannover group on the ability of different Campylobacter isolates (from humans and chickens) to colonise chickens and that these induced different immune responses in the chickens PMID 26827832.
Start Year 2011
 
Description DIFAGH 
Organisation University of Liege
Department Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This project represents an EMIDA-ERANET programme linking a number of laboratories together. I lead the overall programme and all research teams including my own are working on a range of collaborative projects. We bring expertise in gut immunology, avian immunology, T/B cell repertoire analyses, innate immunity and infection biology to the consortium.
Collaborator Contribution All of the partners engage in cross-laboratory collaborations. The tasks are divided as follows: Immunity (Oxford and Munich), Germ-free chickens (Munich, Oxford and INRA), Campylobacter infections (Hannover), Salmonella infections (INRA), enterocyte biology (Jerusalem), microbiota biology (Lohmann), microbiome profiling and proteomics (Brno).
Impact A series of publications are currently being prepared, most of which involve multiple partners and can be considered multidisciplinary by brining together expertise across a range of areas including immunology, poultry health, infectious disease, microbiology and mathematical biology. One manuscript was recently published led by the Hannover group on the ability of different Campylobacter isolates (from humans and chickens) to colonise chickens and that these induced different immune responses in the chickens PMID 26827832.
Start Year 2011
 
Description Development of camera/OPTICFLOCK system 
Organisation Agri-cctv Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We supply technical advice and analysis
Collaborator Contribution Agri-cctv install cameras and our equipment in chicken shed
Impact Trials started in May 2017 and finished in December 2018. The outcome was considerable interest fro a major international compaby, with whom a licensing arrangement is currently being negotiated
Start Year 2017
 
Description Further analysis of tail-biting in pigs 
Organisation Aarhus University
Department Department of Biomedicine
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are in process of analysing videotapes already collected by Aarhus University
Collaborator Contribution The partners are supplying us videotapes for analysis as well as their own behavioural analysis
Impact We are still working on the data
Start Year 2015
 
Description Integration of OPTICFLOCK data onto a commercially available dashbiard 
Organisation Munters Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Knowledge of flock behaviour
Collaborator Contribution We are negotaiation what they they will provide but we expect it to be help with development
Impact Please note that we are collaborating with Munters internationally but not Munters UK specifically (but this is the only option yoyr system allows!). We are currently negotiating a lience agreement for development
Start Year 2018
 
Description On-farm trial of OpticFlock 
Organisation Avara Foods Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We provided them with information about the welfare of their flocks and the presence (and genotypes) of Campylobacter with the aim of helping them to trace the source of Campylobacter infection. This has resulted the important result that very young birds in all flocks tested appear to carry Campylobacter but in such minute quantities that these are undetectable by normal culture methods.
Collaborator Contribution Permitting us to put cameras in their chicken houses, providing end-of-flock production data on each flock and collecting faecal samples for us.
Impact The collaboration is multidisciplinary: Animal welfare (Department of Zoology), Microbiology (Department of Zoology), software (Dept. Engineering Science). statistics )DEparmemt of Statistics. The demonstration that Campylobacter is present in minute quantities even in chicks as young as 3 days hold is potentially of great importance in developing control strategies. We are currently in discussion with Cargill (now AVARA) about further testing of the hypothesis that Campylobacter control may be best achieved through improved welfare.
Start Year 2016
 
Description On-farm trial of OpticFlock 
Organisation Tyson Foods
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution We provided them with information about the welfare of their flocks and the presence (and genotypes) of Campylobacter with the aim of helping them to trace the source of Campylobacter infection. This has resulted the important result that very young birds in all flocks tested appear to carry Campylobacter but in such minute quantities that these are undetectable by normal culture methods.
Collaborator Contribution Permitting us to put cameras in their chicken houses, providing end-of-flock production data on each flock and collecting faecal samples for us.
Impact The collaboration is multidisciplinary: Animal welfare (Department of Zoology), Microbiology (Department of Zoology), software (Dept. Engineering Science). statistics )DEparmemt of Statistics. The demonstration that Campylobacter is present in minute quantities even in chicks as young as 3 days hold is potentially of great importance in developing control strategies. We are currently in discussion with Cargill (now AVARA) about further testing of the hypothesis that Campylobacter control may be best achieved through improved welfare.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Prediction of tail-biting in pigs 
Organisation Aarhus University
Department Department of Animal Science
Country Denmark 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Providing cameras and statistical analysis of optical flow data Supplying videos of pig behaviour for analysis in Oxford
Collaborator Contribution Running trials Supplying videos
Impact Preliminary results suggested no differences between the optical flow patterns of pens of pigs that did or did not go on to develop tail-biting. However, optical flow patterns were disturbed in the days leading up to an outbreak in both groups. Technical issues with the videos, and in particular doubts over whether the times and dates of recordings were accurate, has led us to be cautious about the validity of the results. We are still consulting over this.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Prediction of tail-biting in pigs 
Organisation Newcastle University
Department School of Agriculture Food and Rural Development Newcastle
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Providing cameras and statistical analysis of optical flow data Supplying videos of pig behaviour for analysis in Oxford
Collaborator Contribution Running trials Supplying videos
Impact Preliminary results suggested no differences between the optical flow patterns of pens of pigs that did or did not go on to develop tail-biting. However, optical flow patterns were disturbed in the days leading up to an outbreak in both groups. Technical issues with the videos, and in particular doubts over whether the times and dates of recordings were accurate, has led us to be cautious about the validity of the results. We are still consulting over this.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Statistical analysis of large data sets 
Organisation Imperial College London
Department Imperial College Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We supply data, the partner helps with the statistical analysis
Collaborator Contribution We are in process of writing a paper on the first analysis
Impact Publication in The Veterinary Record
Start Year 2015
 
Description System trials in the US 
Organisation Eli Lilly & Company Ltd
Department Elanco
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Development of on-farm welfare assessment
Collaborator Contribution Facllitating use of broiler farms by a producer company that wishes to remain anonymous
Impact welfare and disease assessment
Start Year 2013
 
Description Welfare measurements 
Organisation Cobb Europe
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Help with developing methods of welfare assessment
Collaborator Contribution Putting us in touch with farmers and producers; facilitating trials
Impact welfare and disease assessment
Start Year 2015
 
Title OpticFlock 
Description OpticFlock is a camera/computer system for automatic assessment for broiler chicken welfare that delivers a welfare 'verdict' throughout the life of a flock. It takes moving images from a cctv camera and analyzes the statistical patterns of movement made by the flocks as they move. The data from a given flock are compared with those of reference flocks with so that a farmer can see whether the flock is behaving as normal for high welfare flocks or whether there are problems. This early warning of welfare/disease issues can be used to intervene to prevent problems becoming more serious. 
IP Reference  
Protection Trade Mark
Year Protection Granted 2016
Licensed Commercial In Confidence
Impact We are in process of negotiating a Development Licence with a view to trials in the US this year. By December, progress will be reviewed to see whether both parties wish to proceed to a full licensing agreement.
 
Title OPTICFLOCK 
Description We have developed OPTICFLOCK software so that it automatically analyses the moments of chicken flocks, analyses that moment on farms and reports the results to a web portal, which in turn conveys updated information to a farmer on a daily basis. We have applied for trademark registration for OPTICFLOCK. 
Type Of Technology Webtool/Application 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact We are just about (March 2017) to test the first prototype, 
URL http://opticflock.com
 
Description NYU Conference on Animal Sentience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact An interdisciplinary symposium organising by NYU. The conference was packed as the topic proved to be much more popular than even th organisers had expected
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Automated assessment of welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Discussion with British Egg Industry. London. 28 November 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description BBSRC meeting (Birmingham) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The BBSRC organised a meeting at which grant holders gave talks on their research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Bryce Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited Bryce Lecture at LMH, Oxford.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Cefas/NC3Rs conference in Weymouth 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Cefas/NC3Rs invited talk on monitoring animal welfare. This particular conference was on fish welfare and addressing the needs for refinement in laboratory care in fish.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Conference for poultry industry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was a well attended meeting of the Poultry Science Association in Orlando, Florida, USA at which there was an audience from many different sectors and with many representatives from the poultry industry. There was a special section on poultry welfare.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Heron-Allen Lecture (Oxford) Why Animals Matter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Invited lecture by Lady Margaret Hall Oxford
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description How animal behaviour can help us assess the health and well-being of poultry 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact invited plenary talk to Poultry Health and Management Conference, Loughborough, UK. 20th Novermber, 2918.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Industry visit (Cobb, Arkansas) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Research presentation to staff of Cobb (major chicken breeder company) at the Cobb headquarters in Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Innovative system for monitoring poultry health 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited plenary talk to the Italian Branch of the World Poultry Science Association in Perugia, Italy. 6th April, 2018.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description International Ethological Conference (Newcastle) Welfare and Natural Behaviour 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Debates about the role of natural behaviour in the assessment of animal welfare
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Invited plenary talk Eastern Nutrition Conference, Guelph, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Invited plenary talk in Guelph, Canada on monitoring poetry welfare
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited plenary talk to WPSA/WVPA/IPP, Utrecht, The Netherlands 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Talk to poultry industry at poetry summit.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Keynote speech, Campbell Centre for Animal Welfare, University of Guelph, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An annual lecture is sponsored by the Campbell centre for Animal Welfare.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Keynote talk European Poultry Conference (Stavanger, Norway) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Lecture on the future of the poultry industry.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Keynote talk to World Animal Protection conference, Bangkok, Thailand 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Keynote speech on assessing animal welfare to the World Animal Protection (formerly WSPA) aimed at facilitating links to industry
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Lecture (Australian Poultry Science Symposium, Sydney): Welfare and Efficiency in Poultry Production 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Large conference attended by commercial poultry producers in Australia
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Lecture (University of MInnesota) reporting on research 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lecture given at the University of Minnesota, organised by ELANCO Animal Health
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Lecture to MSc students (University of Paris) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Lecture was a contribution to the MSc in animal welfare course being run by the University of Paris
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presence at Pig and Poultry Fair, Stoneleigh 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Pig and Poultry Fair is a good showcase for new agricultural ideas to both industry and the general public. We engaged with people throughout the day.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation (Paris Agricultural Show) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I attended one day of the Paris Agricultural Show at the McDonald's (France) stand. Very large numbers of people attend this show. Short presentations and discussions took place as asked for.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Presentation to Perdue Farms, USA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Perdue Farms organised a 'poultry summit' and open day and invited me to be a keynote speaker
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Public lecture (University of Western Auatralia, Perth) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Public lecture organisd by the UWA to engage with the public about science
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Research presentation (Cobb, Arkansas) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Report on current research to the Animal Welfare panel of the Cobb Breeding Comoany at its headquarters at Siloam Springs, Arkansas
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Seminar (Balliol College, Oxford) Why animals matter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Balliol College MCR (graduate students from all subjects) organised a series of seminars on a wide variety of topics
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Talk to Australian farmers (Western Australia) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I spoke at an event organised by the University of Western Australi at their ;Future Farm' open day tow hich they had invited farmers and members of the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Talk to Cobb (Saloam Springs, Arkansas) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Part of my active involvement with Cobb, one of the world's largest chicken breeding companies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk to NCR3rs/BBSRC conference (London) about recent results 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Meeting to report latest results from grant to the BBSRC. This was very useful as a networking exercise
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk to Norfolk poultry farmers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Talk to Norfolk poultry farmers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk to PHARAQ (Inverness): optical flow, chickens and fish 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact I was invited to address an audience from the aquaculture industry with a view to seeing whether the same optical flow techniques we have successfully applied to chickens might also be applied to fish farming.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description Talk to Royal Veterinary College conference, Potters Bar: optical flow and welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Talk on the optical flow method of assessing broiler chicken welfare
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Talk to graduate students in Balliol College, Oxford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Debate on animal welfare with students at Balliol College Oxford.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Talk to staff of ELANCO Animal health (Indianapolis) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact This was a talk to the staff of Elanco Animal Health about our optical flow and welfare work. We are conducting trials in the US through the auspices of ELANCO so this was by way ofa progress report.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description UFAW Lecture (University of Cambridge) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited lecture to postgraduates and staff interested in animal welfare
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description WPVA Plenary talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Large International Conference of the World Poultry veterinary Association in Edinburgh 3-6 September 2017
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description automated assessment of poultry welfare 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk to the Animal Welfare Research Network conference in Birmingham. 3rd September, 2018
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018