Rumba : Research network on digital technologies to improve livestock health and welfare

Network funded by INRAE / Sanba

Context and implications

Technological advances have greatly increased the possibilities of collecting animal husbandry data automatically and at high frequency, on different scales and at ever decreasing costs. For example, GPS, RFID or accelerometer technologies make it possible to monitor the state of the animal in real time on commercial farms. For other technologies, such as 'omics' measurements, acquisition costs have been significantly reduced, enabling more frequent measurements. As a result, these new technologies have opened up new horizons for both animal science research and commercial applications for non-invasive measurements related to animal health and welfare. The possibilities of measuring and generating alarms for prevention or early detection could help to meet certain societal expectations in relation to animal husbandry on the one hand and the rational use of medication in farm animals on the other hand.

These technologies also raise new questions. For example, the calibration of new measurement methods is often based on more traditional diagnostic methods that may be very imperfect, which may raise questions about the definition and quality of the reference measurement. Another type of issue of interest concerns human decision-making based on information generated by algorithms, which may be an indication of the occurrence of events, with or without uncertainty; or continuous score values. There are many other questions relating to measurement devices and methods of processing the information generated.


Rumba aims to generate research projects on the use of digital tools to improve the health and well-being of animal husbandry, by bringing together scientists, specialists and field actors interested in the different facets of these issues. This general objective can be subdivided into different sub-objectives :

  1. To create a discussion forum for scientists, specialists and field actors with knowledge in the following fields: animal husbandry, animal welfare and health, animal husbandry data collection systems, signal processing, data analysis and modelling.
  2. To bring out the scientific questions and needs in the field related to animal welfare and health that could be addressed by digital technologies
  3. Identify the methodological obstacles limiting the use of digital technologies in animal husbandry.


Madouasse Aurélien (SA, BIOEPAR), Taghipoor Masoomeh (Phase, MoSAR)

Modification date : 11 September 2023 | Publication date : 10 February 2021 | Redactor : AM