Face scan­ning for sad sheep

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THEY may hide it well, but sheep ex­pe­ri­ence a wide range of emo­tions just like us.

Now sci­en­tists have come up with a way to tell if a sheep is happy or sad – by us­ing fu­tur­is­tic fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy.

The de­vice can be used to de­tect pain and alert farm­ers to dis­eases among their flock.

It is hoped that face scan­ners could be placed at wa­ter troughs to au­to­mat­i­cally de­tect when a sheep is suf­fer­ing from foot rot and mas­ti­tis, a painful ud­der in­fec­tion.

It has been sug­gested that sheep hide their emo­tions, as show­ing they are ill would make them a tar­get for preda­tors.

But when a sheep is in pain, five things hap­pen to its face. Its eyes nar­row, its cheeks tighten, its ears fold for­wards, its lips pull down and back, and its nos­trils change from a U to a V-shape. – Daily Mail

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