In 2017, almost 45% of the EU’s agricultural output came from livestock. Livestock entails all commodity animals, like cattle, pigs, horses, sheep; and animal products such as milk, eggs and cheese. The EU population of livestock is substantial: in 2017, there were more than 88 million bovine animals, 150 million pigs, and 100 million sheep and goats. From these animals, the EU member states produced 45,2 million tonnes of meat.
Being such a significant part of the EU’s economy and its citizens’ diets, the sector bears great responsibility. The EU has highlighted animal health, animal wellbeing, food safety, reduced carbon and methane emissions and manure and soil management as current challenges. To tackle these challenges technology might be of great help.
Within the livestock sector, Digital Innovation Hubs use technology to, amongst others, monitor pig health, ammonia emissions and track and identify cattle at any given time in order to create a more efficient and more sustainable livestock sector.