Use of Thermal Imaging Technology on Maiden Ewes as a Non-invasive Marker of Stress

Smith, Ryan
Western Sydney University


The following is a summary submitted with the application. It will be updated when the student’s abstract/thesis is received.

I will be using thermal imaging technology on maiden ewes as a non-invasive marker of stress. Head temperature and normal body operating activities including behavior will be monitored. A remote ear tag system to log movement of the sheep throughout the experimental period will be implemented on farm and data used to log activity. We will identify if sheep under stress give off signs that are identifiable on farm such as a low activity rate. This is a primary concern due to the link between counterproductive ewes and stress.

With my interests in biosecurity there are noticeable similarities between the way animals react to diseases and parasites and the way they react to stress – their body goes into recovery mode. The importance of this research is recognising it is possible to troubleshoot symptoms including counter production and condition loss and providing a reliable procedure to achieve answers. Australia’s multi- billion-dollar sheep industry requires more research and innovative methods such as non-invasive stress markers to remain as a major economic benefit for the country.