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Monitoring animal welfare using AI

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Together with consulting firm Deloitte, Eyes on Animals and the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, Vion has co created a new monitoring tool to improve animal welfare: using artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor human and animal interaction at the unloading area and lairage in slaughterhouses.

Posted on Jan 24 ,00:07

Monitoring animal welfare using AI

After the opening of the international Green Week in Berlin, Dutch Minister Christianne van der Wal saw a presentation of a monitoring tool with smart camera technology developed by the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals, Deloitte, Eyes on Animals and Vion.

This new monitoring tool uses Artificial Intelligence. It monitors human-animal interaction at abattoirs. The cameras continuously record all images and they are analysed by the software.


The video software developed uses artificial intelligence to monitor how animals are treated. The system detects movements of people, animals and objects and their interaction. Video clips that (potentially) deviate from Vion’s protocol regarding animal welfare are automatically selected by the system’s algorithm. These video clips are made available for assessment via a dashboard. This enables Vion’s animal welfare officers to apply corrective measures based on the video clips. Importantly, an established selection and assessment framework is used. The starting point for feeding the algorithm is Vion’s Animal Welfare Protocol. This works better than spot-checking, which has been done up to now, because there is a strong chance of missing precisely the image that matters.


Vion has installed this smart camera system in its abattoirs in the Netherlands and Germany from 2021. The Dutch government is working on a bill for camera surveillance in abattoirs.

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