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Sheep on film
21/11/05

photo courtesy of www.jennifermackenzie.co.uk
beltex lambs

IT is said pictures never lie but getting the whole truth out of them can be a tricky process.

That is what a new research project is trying to get - an accurate Sheep Video Image Analysis System (VIA) for predicting carcase classification and meat yield. The conclusions are expected next Spring.

The project is funded by English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX), Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC), Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) and the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC), in partnership with Welsh Country Foods, Gaerwen, Anglesey and German firm E+V Technology.

The project is being managed by MLC Technical Services Manager Mike Owen who said: "The initial stage involves the collection of images from a representative sample of carcases.

"Information extracted from these images will then be used to develop prediction equations for conformation, fat class and meat yield.

"Later in the project the accuracy of these prediction equations will then be tested."

The project will also evaluate the impact of industry practices on the accuracy of VIA technology, including different leg suspension methods.

When the report is ready a series of demonstrations will be organised for industry organisations and personnel.

EBLEX Industry Development Manager Chris Lloyd said: "This technology has the capability to provide greater transparency and consistency in the carcase grading process for the benefit of both producers and processors.

"We are excited by the potential to evaluate the lean meat yield which could result in better returns to the producer."

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