Data transfer between farms, dealers, slaughterhouse and the Swiss stock movement database is increasing, especially in response to the requirement for full animal traceability. Identification of individual animals is an important part of this system. The present practice of identifying animals by plastic ear tags has the advantages of being easy to use and inexpensive, and the drawbacks of a greater risk of loss and lack of scope for automatic identification. Various electronic animal identification systems are already on the market. As part of an EU project, Agroscope FAT Tänikon investigated injectable transponders placed inside the abdominal cavity of pigs (intraperitoneal). Some improvements are needed, namely reducing the labour involved in application and subsequent removal at the slaughterhouse, before such a system is ready for practical use. There are also still some shortcomings as regards group identification.
Pontiggia A., Münger A., Ammer S., Philipona C., Bruckmaier R. M., Keil N.M., Dohme-Meier F.
Even in temperate climate zones, an increase in the ambient temperature and solar radiation can cause heat stress in grazing dairy cows. Agroscope studied the physiological changes in cows caused by increasing heat load.
Lazzari G., Münger A., Heimo D., Seifert S., Camarinha-Silva A., Borda-Molina D., Zähner M., Schrade S., Kreuzer M., Dohme-Meier F.
In dairy cows, herbage-based diets often lead to increased nitrogen excretion. Tanniferous sainfoin and extract of acacia can reduce nitrogen excretion from urine and thus ammonia volatilization from slurry.
Excessive nitrogen inputs from the air lead to over-fertilisation of sensitive ecosystems. Continuous feeding optimisation can make an important contribution to reducing ammonia losses and thus nitrogen inputs.