Animal Welfare Management in a Digital World
Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter EX4 4RJ, UK
Department of Animal Environment and Health, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7068, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Wageningen UR, Wageningen Livestock Research, P.O. Box 338, 6700AH Wageningen, The Netherlands
UMR Herbivores, Université Clermont Auvergne, INRAE, VetAgro Sup, 63122 Saint-Genès-Champanelle, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 September 2020
Revised: 23 September 2020
Accepted: 24 September 2020
Published: 1 October 2020
The digital revolution opens possibilities to use multiple sensors, a data infrastructure and data analytics to monitor animals or their environment 24/7. Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) offers significant opportunities for a holistic, evidence-based approach to the monitoring and surveillance of farmed animal welfare. To date, the emphasis of PLF has been on animal health and productivity. If PLF develops further along these lines, there is a risk that animal health and productivity define welfare. A combined multi-actor approach that brings together industry, scientists, food chain actors, policy-makers and NGOs is needed to develop and use the promise of PLF for the creative and effective improvement of farmed animal welfare, not only taking into account their physical welfare but also their mental one.