Fighting livestock disease using facial recognition technology


When it comes to biosecurity in livestock barns, who has been where, who is allowed where, and are they following the right protocols can be a tricky feat — no matter the size of the operation. The best of intentions can be there, but as we know, sometimes biosecurity can lapse in the rush of every day business.

Two companies have come together to help farms take biosecurity to the next level, and better protect animal health. Farm Health Guardian Ltd., and NoveTechnologies LLC have come together to launch Protocol — a biosecurity  management system that utilizes facial recognition technology for controlled access of livestock barns.

Rob Hannam, Farm Health Guardian CEO was on hand at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show held at Woodstock, Ont., to discuss the software system that is geared towards poultry and swine producers.

Protocol uses facial recognition for a controlled entry program at key barn entrances. As Hannam explains, it works in a similar way as using facial recognition to unlock your smart phone, except this time, you’re opening a barn door.

It monitors which farm individuals have recently visited, and will deny entry if the health status differs in a way that could pose a risk. This helps simplify tracking complex biosecurity protocols, and ensures only permitted people can access barns.

“We’re monitoring what farms have you been to recently within that system, or within that network of farms. And if the health status is different — the door may not open. If you went to a barn two days ago that broke out with a disease, and then you come to this farm, it’s not going to unlock the door,” says Hannam. “Protocol ensures you’re not getting in the barn unless you’re permitted to be there.”

Check out the full conversation with Hannam and RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin, filmed at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show 2023, brought to you by PRIDE Seeds:

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