As a farmer, protecting your livestock is your top priority. Any unfortunate event that leads to the loss of an animal could mean a loss to your livelihood. With the introduction of technology, protecting livestock has become easier.
Digital transformation in livestock protection is fundamentally revolutionising the way farmers oversee and manage their animals’ safety, wellbeing and welfare. In fact, digital transformation has enabled the industry to become innovative and agile in the face of challenges such as disease outbreaks and compliance legislation.
As technological developments continue apace, there are a number of new advancements that are designed to further support farmers.
Real-time and historical avian influenza outbreak notifications and reporting
Outbreaks of avian influenza pose a significant danger to the poultry sector, emphasising the need to proactively manage its spread. Through the process of digital transformation, farmers and any bird keepers now have the capability to promptly notify appropriate authorities about outbreaks.
This proactive reporting contributes to effective containment and, furthermore, the utilisation of digital platforms aids in delivering timely notifications to farmers, keeping them informed about the outbreak’s status in neighbouring farms. This empowers them to implement essential precautions and measures, safeguarding their livestock.
Access to historical data of infection spread can also support farmers, as it highlights location and highlights trends, enabling more accurate prediction of future disease spread. Digital technologies make access to this data instant and comprehensible, allowing both farm businesses and backyard keepers to enact further measures to protect their poultry: in the right place and at the right time.
Wild bird disease outbreaks and reporting
Avian influenza continues to spread dramatically through the wild bird population. The UK’s swan population has been significantly affected in particular, with a disastrous effect on the nation’s waterways.
Of course, the loss of the nation’s wildbirds is an ecological and environmental tragedy for us all. However, for farmers, there is a further worry. Wild birds are a primary source of infection to domesticated flocks- either through direct contact or via bridging species such as passerines, which might contract the disease from sharing watering holes with wild birds but then pass it on to domestic stocks. In this case, any understanding of the location and timelines of wild bird infections is valuable intelligence to local farmers, allowing them to make proactive moves to improve their biosecurity and secure their flocks.
Modern technologies allow access to this intelligence, providing a clear local wild-bird picture for farmers, further adding to their armoury against the destructive effects of avian influenza.
Improving efficiency for compliance of legislation
Regulatory mandates like Red Tractor, Lion Code, and RSPCA assurance, play a vital role in upholding top-tier standards in food production. Adherence to these standards can however be challenging for farmers who lack the necessary tools and resources.
However, the digital transformation within agriculture could allow farmers access to platforms that simplify these compliance processes. Equally, these technologies could help streamline laborious tasks such as record-keeping, reducing the risk of errors and so make it easier for farmers to stay compliant.
Forward-thinking farmers have long been using the latest agricultural technologies to improve farm production and efficiency. It’s time for this progress to be applied to farm security, giving farmers and backyard keepers a helping hand in responding to disease outbreaks and so protecting their animals and businesses.
Whether by using digital platforms to report disease outbreaks, monitor the real-time health status of their livestock, trace the movements of infected animals, and wildbirds, or to ensure compliance with legislation, it is clear that the digital transformation of agriculture is something for all farmers to embrace. In fully leveraging its potential, farmers are improving the productivity and safety of their farms now, and in the future.
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