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Precision Livestock Farming in Pigs

Edited by:

Carmen Winters, PhD, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland
Wim Gorssen, PhD, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 1 February 2025 

BMC Porcine Health Management is calling for submissions to our Collection on Precision Livestock Farming in Pigs. Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) provides innovative sensor technologies for continuous phenotyping and data integration, promoting compassionate healthcare, management, and genetic evaluation, thereby enhancing both the well-being of pigs and overall pig production.

Image credit: © dusanpetkovic / Getty Images / iStock

New Content ItemThis Collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG [2]: Zero Hunger.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Carmen Winters, PhD, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, Switzerland

Dr. Carmen Winters holds a Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Neuroethology focusing on social animal behavior. In her research, she has done some pioneering work in automated behavioral assessment methods in mice and pigs by integrating computer vision and audition techniques to generate reproducible, objective assessments of animal behavior. Currently, she has a postdoctoral position at ETH Zürich, Switzerland, where her research is on focusing on salivary oxytocin as a marker for assessing positive animal welfare/behaviors by integrating computer vision techniques.

Wim Gorssen, PhD, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

Dr. Wim Gorssen holds a Master's degree in Bioscience Engineering from KU Leuven (Belgium) with a specialization in Animal Production. Hereafter, he started his PhD in quantitative pig genetics at the Center for Animal Breeding and Genomics at KU Leuven in Belgium. This research integrated precision livestock technologies with genetic strategies. Currently, he is developing new research initiatives for his postdoctoral work and has started as a guest academic at the Animal Genomics Group at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

About the Collection

The intensification in pig production demands management strategies as the number of pigs per farm employee continues to rise. Simultaneously, the importance of pig welfare is increasingly being recognized, emphasizing the necessity for pigs to exhibit favorable social behaviors. As a result, there is a growing need for pigs that are easy to manage, healthy, and resilient. Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) offers innovative solutions to these challenges, and the development of PLF technologies for pigs is advancing with unprecedented speed.

Recent advancements in PLF have introduced a range of sensor technologies—from computer vision systems and audio analysis to accelerometers and digital thermometers. These tools allow us to phenotype classic traits such as daily gain or feed intake almost continuously, or to phenotype a whole new range of traits including pig behavior, resilience, and health. The integration of this extensive data into routine practice supports more informed decision-making, optimizing both preventative and reactive healthcare or management strategies. Additionally, the ability to continuously track and analyze health metrics can streamline veterinary workflows, allowing for more efficient and targeted interventions, reducing the reliance on labor-intensive manual observations, and enhancing the overall efficiency of health management on farms. Further, this wealth of new data is revolutionizing pig breeding by making new traits accessible for routine genetic evaluation.

Therefore, the scope of this collection will focus on
(1) PLF techniques to phenotype new traits related to pigs’ social behavior, resilience and/or health,
(2) the implementation of such techniques to leverage optimized healthcare and management in pigs, and
(3) genetic strategies to implement these PLF data in breeding programs.

Join us in exploring the potential of PLF to enhance pig production and welfare by submitting original articles and reviews on these topics. Make pig production great again!

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of research articles and reviews. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. 

Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. Please, select the appropriate Collection title “Precision Livestock Farming in Pigs" under the “Details” tab during the submission stage.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer-review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.