Improving animal health and welfare by using sensor data in herd management and dairy cattle breeding – a joint initiative of ICAR and IDF

Christa Egger-Danner*, Ilka Klaas, Luiz Brito, Katerina Schodl, JM Bewley, Victor Cabrera, MJ Haskell, Michael Iwersen, Bjorg Heringstad, Kathrine Stock, Anna Stygar, Rene van der Linde, Miel Hostens, Nouredine Charfeddine, Nicolas Gengler, Elsa Vasseur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Digitalization is advancing with rapid developments in farm technologies, which has the potential to revolutionize dairy production and to improve its long-term sustainability. Farmers are increasingly using sensors and other technologies that monitor various parameters on their farms. Large amounts of data are collected, but just a small fraction is currently used along the dairy value chain. This has motivated the International Committee of Animal Recording (ICAR) and the International Dairy Federation (IDF) to start a joint initiative aiming at providing guidelines and best practices for using data from sensors across systems and applications, with a focus on functional traits such as health and animal welfare. The key partners are the ICAR Functional Traits Working Group and the IDF Standing Committee of Animal Health and Welfare who have formed a network of representatives from various stakeholders and leading scientists. Research and approaches to improve the usability of data are discussed to promote knowledge transfer and practical implementation in the dairy industry. Experiences and best practices are exchanged, and recommendations for the use of sensor data are being elaborated. The results will be broadly disseminated through ICAR and IDF avenues. Furthermore, the collaboration among multidisciplinary experts is enabling a holistic approach to the current challenges faced by the worldwide dairy industry and will facilitate cutting-edge research and innovation. The initiative will be presented, with a progress report on reference standards, harmonized definitions, and terminology, as well as recommendations and best practices regarding data cleaning and editing and definition of novel traits using data from sensor technologies in herd management and genetic evaluations.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Apr 2024
Event11th European Conference for Precision Livestock Farming - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 9 Sept 202412 Sept 2024


Conference11th European Conference for Precision Livestock Farming
Abbreviated titleECPLF
Internet address


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