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Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange

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Sophia Stavrakakis

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Sophia StravrakakisSophia Stavrakakis - Newcastle University
Duration - 2010-2013

Sophia has a passion for animal science, welfare and health problems and I believe that technology has an enormous potential for assisting with many of the challenges we see in animal production. My educational and working history has been dedicated to building a solid base of knowledge and practical ability for a successful career in the service of animals and agriculture. 

Project Aims and Objectives
To examine normal gait in pigs through the use of motion capture technology and ascertain how gait changes with increasing age/weight of the pig. It also looks at the effect of floor surface on the gait of pigs at different ages and aims to ascertain the predictive power of early gait score measures to identify later predisposition to lameness. It also seeks to develop quick, simple locomotion assessment methods for commercial application. 

Potential Benefit to Industry:
This study will increase the understanding of locomotion of pigs on different floor types and at different stages of development. The study may offer the opportunity to screen replacement gilts for leg soundness. The same strategy could also allow breeding companies to apply selection criteria to improve leg soundness of slaughter generation pigs - fewer leg problems and reduced culls in the finishing herd would lead to improved growth rates and so greater annual meat output per sow.

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