Farm Ireland

Saturday 20 January 2018

Scanning service set to go global

Darragh McCullough

Darragh McCullough

CowsDNA, the scanning service run by well known cow fertility expert Dr Dan Ryan, is on the cusp of going global with ground-breaking technology that will allow accurate pregnancy diagnosis from anywhere in the world.

The company is in negotiation with several multi-national businesses about rolling out the technology worldwide.

In conjunction with DCU, ICBF and Teagasc, Dr Ryan has developed formulas that are able to accurately determine the age, sex, size and growth rates of the pregnancy from footage captured on film during scanning.

According to Dr Ryan, analysis of more than 80,000 scans has led to complex algorithms that result in more accurate analysis of scans compared to traditional scanning.

"It removes the subjectivity of interpreting scans so that the quality of the data that the farmer receives is not dependent on the expertise of the scanner anymore," he said.

By using cineloop recordings of the scans, the images are sent from computers "embedded" on the scanner's body to a central processing site at the CowsDNA offices in Fermoy. In this way, scans from anywhere in the world can be analysed in Cork and a report sent back to the farmer within 24 hours, according to Dr Ryan.

The reproductive expert said that he can generate herd health reports on the back of the information gleamed from cows' wombs.

By comparing the size of the foetus to normal averages for a given stage of pregnancy, Dr Ryan claims that he can also predict if there is likely to be a problem with calving difficulty.

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"We can also attach all of this information to electronic passports," said Dr Ryan. "This allows farmers to create a paper trail that should appeal to food processors keen to guarantee that their product comes from herds with high animal welfare and health standards."

Dr Ryan said that the service would cost €5/cow along with a €50 call-out fee.

Irish Independent