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Sheep Facial Recognition: A Game-Changer for the Australian Sheep Industry?

The Australian sheep industry is about to witness a major technological trial, as Genesmith gears up to launch its innovative sheep facial recognition trial. This cutting-edge technology promises to revolutionise sheep management, using AI to match ewes with their lambs.

What is Genesmith?

Genesmith is a New Zealand company with a mission to harness the power of technology to improve livestock management and productivity. They focus on research and development and are pioneers in animal facial recognition. Their advanced system uses algorithms and machine learning to identify individual sheep.

Genesmith managing director Mark Ferguson said his company’s facial recognition technology aimed to identify a flock’s most productive ewes and, in turn, improve their bloodlines. 

Australian Sheep Facial Recognition Trials

The highly anticipated trial is set to take place in Australia later this year, aiming to showcase the potential of Genesmith’s facial recognition technology in real-world farming situations.

Dr Ferguson said the technology could detect and identify animals from more than 100 metres away and that the camera could scan 360 degrees around a paddock, learning the features of the sheep to identify them later.

“One camera or a couple of cameras can handle lots of animals compared to having to put one thing on individual animals, which works beautifully with cattle but the price point is a bit steep with sheep,” he noted.

Dr Ferguson said the trial of the technology would investigate the practicality and cost points among other things.

“We have no interest in making a technology that doesn’t serve farmers,” he said.

“The idea is to make sure it’s practical and that the technology really will change the game.”

With rapid developments in technology and the enthusiastic adoption of on-farm tech, it will be interesting to see if AI facial recognition is the way of the future for sheep farmers.

Sources: ABC, Genesmith

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