Professors Working on Sensor-Based System to Monitor Livestock Herds
M2 Communications / Mycattle.com
MANHATTAN — As the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, approaches, work is being done at Kansas State University to monitor and protect food animals on the range. Professors from veterinary medicine, engineering, and computing and information sciences are working to develop a system to monitor the health and activity of individual animals in a herd.
“The primary goals of the project are to develop new technology to increase meat quality by minimizing the impact of disease and to protect human/animal populations by detecting disease early before local herds are mixed with animals in large feedlots,” said Steve Warren, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.
This system could be especially beneficial for avian influenza, which began in the Far East, said Howard Erickson, professor of physiology. In addition to avian influenza, other animal diseases such as pneumonia, mad cow disease, bacterial infections, lung diseases and respiratory tract diseases also could be detected early.
“Some animal diseases that are potential bioterrorist agents — anthrax, botulism, hantavirus and West Nile fever — are zoonotic, which means communicable to humans,” Erickson said. “Other animal diseases, such as avian influenza, and foot-and-mouth disease, are high-consequence livestock pathogens that may also affect humans.”