Integrating the RFID identification system for Charolaise breeding bulls with 3D imaging for virtual archive creation

The individual electronic identification (EID) of cattle based on RFID technology (134.2 kHz ISO standard 11784) will definitely enter into force in European countries as an official means of animal identification from July 2019. Integrating EID with 3D digital images of the animal would lead to the creation of a virtual archive of breeding animals for the evaluation and promotion of morphology associated with economic traits, strategic in beef cattle production.
Authors: Maria Grazia Cappai, Filippo Gambella, Davide Piccirilli, Nicola Graziano Rubiu, Corrado Dimauro, Antonio Luigi Pazzona, Walter Pinna
 
Journal Title: PeerJ Computer Science
 
ISSN: 2376-5992 (Online)
 
Publisher: PeerJ Inc.
 
Abstract
 
The individual electronic identification (EID) of cattle based on RFID technology (134.2 kHz ISO standard 11784) will definitely enter into force in European countries as an official means of animal identification from July 2019. Integrating EID with 3D digital images of the animal would lead to the creation of a virtual archive of breeding animals for the evaluation and promotion of morphology associated with economic traits, strategic in beef cattle production. The genetically-encoded morphology of bulls and cows together with the expression in the phenotype were the main drivers of omic technologies of beef cattle production. The evaluation of bulls raised for reproduction is mainly based on the conformation and heritability of traits, which culminates in muscle mass and optimized carcass traits in the offspring destined to be slaughtered. A bottom-up approach by way of SWOT analysis of the current morphological and functional evaluation process for bulls revealed a technological gap. The innovation of the process through the use of smart technologies was tested in the field. The conventional 2D scoring system based on visual inspection by breed experts was carried out on a 3D model of the live animal, which was found to be a faithful reproduction of live animal morphology, thanks to the non significant variance (p > 0.05) of means of the somatic measures determined on the virtual 3D model and on the real bull. The four main groups composing the scoring system of bull morphology can easily be carried out on the 3D model. These are as follows: (1) Muscular condition; (2) Skeletal development; (3) Functional traits; (4) Breed traits. The 3D-Bull model derived from the Structure from Motion (SfM) algorithm displays a high tech profile for the evaluation of animal morphology in an upgraded system.

Photo: Body measure taken on the 3D-bull model. Sequence of the topline (A), wither’s height (B) and rear trimness (C) (credits: Maria Grazia Cappai, Filippo Gambella, Davide Piccirilli, Nicola Graziano Rubiu, Corrado Dimauro, Antonio Luigi Pazzona, Walter Pinna)

© 2019 Cappai et al.
 
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