EIP project “DigiPig”

App-aided animal welfare management based on daily animal control and internal self-control of pig rearing businesses

Lead partner: FuE Zentrum FH Kiel GmbH

Project management:

Prof. Dr. Urban Hellmuth

M.Sc. Nele Bielfeldt

Funding source: EU.SH and EIP-Agri, appropriation period: 1st July 2018 – 31st May 2021


Project idea

The development of an app-based animal welfare management is legally bound to the requirements of the documentation during internal company self-inspection (animal welfare law §11) and the daily animal control (TierSchNutztV. §4). Animal welfare is strengthened through the app documentation and the choice of indicators (funding priorities: animal welfare and digitalisation). This process is supported through machine learning as well. The data ascertained are used to strengthen the management process and are supposed to be an early-warning mechanism in cases of notable changes.  


The ideal link between the internal company self-inspection and the daily animal control forms the basis for a management cycle. At the beginning of the project, the validity of indicators marking animal welfare will be tested and evaluated. The developed indicators and various controlling tools (absorption of water, weight development) help to create an operational controlling strategy.

The project is directly realised on-site at five agricultural companies for pig husbandry in Schleswig-Holstein. OG members are then able to test the animal-related indicators and evaluate the data ascertained immediately under practical conditions during the project term. This helps to evaluate whether the process of determining indicators, the documentation via app and the significancy are considered sufficiently practical.

The aim of the project is to provide controlling mechanisms for pig-farmers to detect and prevent early signs of animal welfare threatening modifications. Through the documentation via app including factual and evaluable data, it becomes easier to monitor the effectiveness of certain mechanisms and to measurably improve the management.

Regular OG meetings and a close supervision of the agricultural OG companies contribute to a successful target achievement.

Expected results

  • best possible exploitation of the potential in pig farming
  • improvement and facilitation of the management process
  • early and more effective detection of changes in animal welfare
  • facilitated error analysis
  • improvement and stabilisation of animal welfare
  • objectification of animal welfare discussions
  • interdisciplinary usage