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How AI contributes to animal welfare

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How AI contributes to animal welfare

There are still some risks associated with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), but there are also a lot of opportunities – for example with regard to animal welfare.

Intelligent monitoring at slaughterhouses

A good example of the use of AI in the area of ​​animal welfare is provided by the company Vion, an international manufacturer of meat, meat products and plant-based alternatives.

With the help of intelligent camera technology that was developed in collaboration with animal welfare organizations, Vion is able to seamlessly monitor compliance with animal welfare regulations. The software continuously analyzes human-animal interactions and identifies deviations from established animal welfare protocols.

Compared to traditional, random checks, this approach allows comprehensive and unbiased control. Corrective measures can therefore be initiated more precisely and promptly.

AI-supported animal observation in agriculture

The adoption of AI technologies is also becoming more prevalent in modern agriculture, with AI-powered animal observation playing a key role.

In this area, AI enables continuous monitoring and analysis of the behavior and health of farm animals, allowing early detection of signs of illness or stress. Using real-time data, farmers can directly address the individual welfare of each animal and thus not only increase animal welfare, but also improve the efficiency and productivity of animal husbandry.

In addition, AI-supported animal observation can help to make the use of medications such as antibiotics more targeted and therefore more environmentally friendly by only treating the animals that are actually sick.

Drug research with fewer animal experiments

Change of location. In pharmaceutical research in Saarland, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) is a crucial step towards reducing animal testing. The Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), in cooperation with the CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security, is pursuing an innovative approach by using zebrafish embryos, which are particularly suitable for drug research due to their genetic similarity to humans. AI systems analyze the development of these embryos and identify at an early stage which substances could have a toxic effect, which significantly reduces the need for further animal experiments with higher organisms such as rats or mice.

These smart algorithms are trained on large data sets to identify developmental abnormalities in the larvae and select the most promising drug candidates for further testing. This early selection using AI allows ineffective or harmful substances to be excluded before they are tested in animal experiments, which not only saves time and resources but also reduces the suffering of laboratory animals.

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The aim is to significantly reduce the number of necessary animal experiments in the long term, which represents a valuable contribution to animal protection and ethical responsibility in science.

Artificial intelligence will revolutionize animal welfare

All of this shows that the possibilities of AI in animal protection are immense. In addition to the examples mentioned, there are also tools such as finFindR and FishFace that use machine learning for species conservation projects, while technologies such as the facial recognition software developed by Google are even used to combat poaching.

AI makes it possible to process immense amounts of data and gain insights that were previously unimaginable. Research teams that once spent weeks analyzing behavior patterns can now produce results in a short amount of time. This not only saves time and effort, but also provides more precise insights into the animals’ lives and well-being.

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