Research project «Smart Animal Health»

The «Smart Animal Health» research project collected and linked data on farm animals with the aim of providing an overview of livestock farming in Switzerland. This allows developments in animal husbandry and health to be monitored. It also enables rapid action to be taken, if necessary, to promote the health and well-being of the animals.


The «Smart Animal Health» research project was launched by the FSVO in cooperation with the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). As part of the project, researchers are developing a method for the reliable digital collection and evaluation of data on animal health and welfare.

The objectives and methodology are explained by Dr. Katharina Stärk, Head of Animal Health, FSVO, and Beat Thomann, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Bern (in German).

Successful use of «Smart Animal Health» data will mean more support for farmers and fewer inspections for exemplary farms, as well as better health and welfare for the animals.

Livestock farms at a glance

Data from official inspections will be supplemented by additional private data sources. The types of data collected include disease symptoms, information on animal behaviour, farm biosecurity data and product quality information.

Gabriele Schachermayr, vice-director FOAG, and Thomas Echtermann, Vetsuisse Faculty University of Zurich, report on the project and the selected data (in German).

Example for a possible comparison of these data:

Example for a possible comparison of these data

Linking all of these data creates synergies, giving a complete picture of livestock farming in Switzerland. Animal health and animal welfare standards can be described and assessed at the level of individual farms, groups of farms and the Swiss livestock population as a whole.

Long-term goals

The data obtained in the study should make it possible to:

  • recognise and promote especially good livestock farms;
  • carry out more targeted animal welfare inspections;
  • observe changes in the health status of the livestock population over an extended period;
  • assess the effectiveness of measures to improve animal health and welfare.

More information

In detail

Overview of commercially available digital systems in livestock farming (in German) (PDF, 3 MB, 15.07.2020)This report gives an overview of digital systems currently available on the international market for the early detection of welfare and health problems in farm animals.

Last modification 14.06.2022

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