The Rural Development Administration develops an IT-based tool that can check on the health of pregnant pigs by monitoring their body movements in real time. (RDA)

By Park Hye-ri and Sohn JiAe

The livestock industry is getting tech savvy.

The Rural Development Administration (RDA) announced on March 26 that it has invented a set of state-of-the-art tools that can identify health problems in pregnant sows with the use of cutting edge IT.

Mother hogs, which play crucial roles in giving birth and breastfeeding when it comes to breeding pigs, are subject to bone or joint problems due to their increased weight. 

To solve such health problems, the RDA’s new device will monitor the movement of both the sow's forelegs and hind legs using ultrasonic waves in real time. 

The RDA hopes that such technology will be systematically introduced across the swine breeding industry, and will help reduce labor costs, improve farm incomes, and raise the quality of livestock produced.

Currently, IT is used widely across the livestock industry, for example, from sorters that automatically measure an animal's weight and determines whether or not to ship the animal, to analysis equipment that can collect and analyze data about fodder and water supplies. There are also high-tech CCTVs and fire detectors. 

“These kinds of IT-powered sensors to monitor biometric data from the sows will be more widely utilized across the industry,” said Yu Dong-jo, a researcher at the RDA Pig Industry Department. “Amid the aging population in many rural areas, this technology will surely cut down on labor force pressures, while increasing productivity.” 


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