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The effects of PLF on human-animal relationships on farms

Abstract : Precision livestock farming induces not only technical and economic changes, but also modifies farmers’ work. It affects the nature and frequency of their daily tasks, specifically in relation to animals, and the data available about the animals. It consequently may affect the quality of the human-animal relationship and how farmers perceive their profession. To better understand these effects, a survey was carried out on 25 French farms raising three different species and equipped with different tools: milking robots and heat detectors for dairy cows, automatic feeders for sows, and housing management and automated weighing systems for poultry. Semi-structured interviews with the farmers were conducted. The main results showed that there were diverse motivations behind the farmers’ decision to install new equipment: some sought better working conditions, others to improve their technical management, yet others were induced by value chain incentives. Most mentioned that their job had become more technical, and the majority was satisfied. Farmers’ interactions with their animals had changed and sometimes decreased, with less time spent in their presence or in direct contact. Digital data enabled a different view of animals, focusing on problematic individuals. Some farmers continued to observe their animals and used specific “relational practices” to facilitate work and reduce animal stress, while others delegated decisions and tasks entirely to their equipment. Nevertheless, some farmers noted limits regarding the place of new technologies on a farm, such as the risk of losing their own autonomy or their ability to observe animals and detect problems.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02737633, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 423195


Nathalie Hostiou, F. Kling-Eveillard, Emeline Ganis. The effects of PLF on human-animal relationships on farms. 8. European Conference on Precision Livestock Farming (ECPLF), Sep 2017, Nantes, France. 9 p. ⟨hal-02737633⟩



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