A German engineering group has acquired CattleEye to add an artificial intelligence system to its existing portfolio of solutions for dairy farms. 

GEA, one of the world’s largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors, says the acquisition of the Northern Ireland-based agricultural software company reinforces its strong commitment to improving animal health & welfare. 

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

CattleEye is an artificial intelligence system designed to quickly detect and predict lameness in cows and to provide critical data to assess the body condition score. It reflects whether animals are properly fed and in good physical condition. 

Next to mastitis, lameness is a major disease in dairy cows that can lead to infertility and ultimately affect milk yield. By using this AI-based software, farmers can take immediate action to improve animal welfare and productivity.

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The CattleEye system combines a 2D camera with specialised software that analyses cow movement and body score patterns. Farmers gain unparalleled insight into their herd’s health. The system can be integrated into both new and existing farms, regardless of the type of milking system. 

“With the trend towards larger and more automated dairy farms, the need to monitor and track animals and production is becoming increasingly important,” said Peter Lauwers, CEO of the GEA farm technologies division. 

“By adding CattleEye’s advanced AI technology, we are expanding our DairyNet portfolio for modern herd management. This can be a game changer for farmers to improve herd health, farm productivity and financial stability.” 

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CattleEye was founded in 2019 by repeat AgTech entrepreneur Terry Canning, the son of a dairy farmer, and Adam Askew, a senior software architect with over 10 years of experience using deep learning image analytics to detect cancerous tumours. 

Launched in April 2021, the system is currently being used to monitor over 100,000 cows worldwide.

“CattleEye was born out of a vision to harness the capabilities of advanced artificial intelligence in video analytics to revolutionise the dairy industry,” said Canning. 

“After starting our partnership last year, we are thrilled that GEA will be using and developing this innovative solution with our team to improve animal welfare and drive positive change in the industry.”

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