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Facial Recognition for Cattle Disease Traceability


K-State develops smartphone app that could boost biosecurity for the beef industry!

In today's world, we use our face to unlock our cell phones and constantly hear about traceability efforts surrounding the pandemic. Thanks to modern technology, the cattle industry uses similar technology to increase traceability efforts.

New technology being developed at Kansas State University is using cattle facial recognition to trace the spread of disease in the cattle population. Like humans, each cow in the heard has a set of unique facial features that modern technology can scan and later use to track the animal throughout its life. 

“We’re talking about a system here that has an incremental cost that is close to zero, and nobody would be (forced) to use it,” said KC Olson, a beef cattle scientist with K-State Research and Extension who has helped to develop the idea. “But there would be economic incentives provided by the beef industry to participate.”

Human facial recognition is becoming more common in secure locations, such as airports. And, humans can log into their computers or smartphones simply by looking at a screen.

“The technology is based on the geometry of the human face,” Olson said. “It uses a bunch of intricate biometric measurements to put a permanent identification on a human being so that later on, when that person needs to get on a flight or something similar, the technology will identify who they are. For humans, that technology is capable of nearly 100% accuracy.”

“Our thinking is, ‘why can’t we have something like that for beef cattle, which could then be used to create a national animal disease traceability system?’” Olson said. “The need for such a system has never been greater. We need this extra layer of protection for our industry against a foreign animal disease or … possible malfeasance by somebody who’s an enemy of this nation.”


To read the full article visit: https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/news/stories/2020/09/facial-recognition-for-cattle.html

Full article written by Pat Melgares