Toward a tool for farmers to evaluate welfare states of pigs: measuring vocal indicators of emotions


Our aim

piglet mic zoom

Project SoundWel aims to understand the encoding of emotion in pig vocalisations and use this knowledge to develop a tool that can assess welfare on-farm by determining the emotion state of pigs through their vocalisations.

Understanding the information encoded in vocalisations is an important tool for welfare assessment, as information on wellbeing is coming straight from the animal, rather than being measured subjectively. The final outcome of SoundWel will be an accurate, non-invasive system for identifying pig emotional states. This system could be used on-farm, and serve as a tool for professionals to understand and control the welfare threats to pigs. With the information the system will provide, professionals would be better able to monitor and improve pig welfare by minimising stress and encouraging positive emotions.

The SOUNDWEL project is funded by the EU within the „Animal Health and Welfare ERA-Net (ANIHWA)“ framework. It is a joint project of INRAE (UMR PEGASE, coordination, and UMRH, France), ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and University of Copenhagen (Danemark, Co-coordination), FBN (Dümmerstorf, Germany), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Oslo, Norway), Institute of Animal Science - Czech University of Life Science (Prague, Czech Republic), Bureau E.T.R.E. (Olby, France) and the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin (Germany).