AI version of sheep pain facial expression scale developed

Posted on 6th June 2017

The Sheep Pain Facial Expression Scale developed by Dr Krista McLennan during her postdoctoral work at the University of Cambridge has now been automated, as described in Science Daily.

Krista's work resulted in a system to measure pain levels based on sheep facial expressions with a high level of accuracy. The group has now developed this system further by using machine learning techniques to automate the system. It is hoped this will make significant improvements to sheep welfare by allowing remote recognition of sheep in pain.

Dr McLennan also recently joined up with Boehringer Ingelheim to produce a booklet on how to use facial expression to assess pain in sheep as part of their farm animal well-being series. 

The booklet will be made available to sheep farmers and veterinarians alike to help them recognise when animals are in pain and when to provide them with treatment. Furthermore, it will allow both farmers and veterinarians to monitor whether any pain relief provided is effective.