Durable Temperatures and Humidity Sensors Key for Biosecurity and Animal Welfare

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Farmscape for August 17, 2020

Full Interview 14:23 Listen

A Professor with the University of Saskatchewan says the ability to track temperature and humidity within swine transport vehicles will play an important role in animal welfare and biosecurity. As part of research being conducted on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc aimed at improving the cleaning and disinfection of swine transport vehicles, scientists are preparing to begin field testing the durability of a third generation of sensors developed to track such factors as temperature, humidity and vibration within the trailer and GPS coordinates.
Dr. Terry Fonstad, a Professor in the College of Engineering with the University of Saskatchewan, says the ability to track these parameters plays a key role in animal welfare, traceability and pathogen control.

Clip-Dr. Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan:
On the animal welfare front you want to make sure that those animals aren’t subjected to too much heat or cold and the humidity plays a part in that. Of course cold and humid and warm are a problem. If the animals are stressed you can do things about it.
You can pull off the highway, you can turn fans on, you can spray water, those kinds of things. The truck driver being able to know that those animals are comfortable and being treated in the best possible manner is important.

The other thing is traceability. If you’ve got a GPS tag on the trailer, you know what trailer, where the trailer has been, you know where that trailer is all the time, you the conditions in the trailer. From a biosecurity standpoint it’s traceable. If you ever have any issue, you can trace exactly where it’s been all times. The other side of it is the sensors confirm pathogen control. We’ve determined that 75 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes will inactivate the pathogens we’re concerned with so then it’s a matter of using these sensors to help us verify that this trailer was in this location, it went through this wash facility, it was the GPS coordinates of this bake oven and it hit those parameters, the 75 for 20 minutes, and then that trailer is safe to use again.

Dr. Fonstad hopes field testing of the sensors in trailers can begin within the next month or so.

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