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Thermal imaging technology launched at Winter Festival

December 21, 2017 by  
Filed under Livestock

A range of new technology was launched at last month’s East of England Winter Stock Festival – in line with event’s wider objective of helping producers respond to upcoming challenges in agriculture through innovation and collaboration.

Held on 1 and 2 December at the East of England showground, Peterborough, the festival hosted the official launch of a range of thermal imaging technologies by Miracle Tech, including the first entry-level thermal imaging tablet available in the UK.

The technology, which is little known in the UK agricultural market, has multiple applications, which include helping to pinpoint the cause of lameness preventing unnecessary antibiotic usage on-farm, said Miracle Tech owner George Coles.

“In 2014, I was introduced to the idea of using thermal imagery for lameness assessment and treatment, and implemented the technology on my own pedigree herd, as well as the 120-cow beef herd that I manage on the Northamptonshire/ Oxfordshire border,” said Mr Coles.

The technology helps identify the source of problems and ensures that the correct treatment can be given. The tablet can be used in the field, which means that a quick decision can be made on treatment method without the need to handle the cattle.

“Since implementing the technology, we have found that very often, cases of lameness don’t require antibiotic treatment and through identifying the actual cause, we have managed to reduce our antibiotic use to almost zero.”

As well as informing lameness treatment in cattle, the technology also has a range of other uses, said Mr Coles. “The technology is highly versatile and can be used to determine when a cow is likely to calve, for monitoring bulling heat, and to identify early cases of mastitis.”

The tablet can also run other applications such as farm management programs. Mr Coles said the festival – which attracted visitors from far and wide – was a fantastic platform for knowledge transfer and the launch of his product.