KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Mount Kisko, New York-based Arrowsight Inc. is taking remote video auditing (RVA) to the next level. At this year’s North American Meat Institute’s (NAMI) Animal Handling Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, the company revealed a new and successful pilot program to attendees. In the very near future, the company plans on having both wearable and fixture-based video cameras to add to its animal welfare and handling portfolio of goods and services. These mobile devices will be fully integrated into Arrowsight’s in-house-developed, proprietary software.
Arrowsight’s RVA has been adopted successfully by some of the largest players in the processing industry. Companies like JBS, Cargill and Hormel, just to name a few, all use an Arrowsight program in slaughter facilities. Dr. Temple Grandin, Ph.D., well-known animal welfare expert and MEAT+POULTRY columnist endorses the system and helped Arrowsight with the design. The company is now moving to the next level in RVA.
“The question was, ‘how could you take what’s been pioneered in the slaughter facilities and carry it out into the farm, the feedlots, the dairy farms? How could you do it for chickens and turkeys?’” said Mark Moshier, president of global manufacturing and agribusiness for Arrowsight.
Mike Siemens, global leader animal welfare and husbandry at Cargill, spoke on Arrowsight’s innovations to RVA. Cargill adopted Arrowsight’s RVA technology in 2008 at its meat plants, and Siemens has worked with Moshier on the upcoming mobile RVA technology. Realizing the success the plants had seen with the RVA technology, Siemens knew the next opportunity to take advantage of RVA was on the live side. Cargill will pilot some of the new Arrowsight equipment on hatcheries, turkey farms and feedlots to in an effort to propel the new hardware further along.
The current wearable system weighs about 1 ½ lbs. and possesses the flexibility to be changed according to the crew that might be using it. In addition, a mobile, magnetized camera can be placed on a wall, a column, the front of a tractor or forklift, etc. “We have some value engineering we’re still doing to the device,” Moshier says, “but we’ve successfully used these in poultry barns presently.” While still just a pilot program with some work to do, Moshier anticipates the release of the new products soon.
“As for the current status, we’ve successfully tested this on several farms,” Moshier says. “We’ve done it in various ways. We’ve achieved the lighting, motion stability and video clarity. It’s going quite well.”
Moshier says he believes the new technology will be commercially available later this year and will have a substantial roll out across multiple areas in the first quarter of next year.