Cattle facial recognition could combat agricultural fraud

False insurance claims and stolen stock are some of the issues effecting the cattle industry. Start-ups are now using facial recognition and machine learning to tackle these problems.

A start-up in the dairy industry, Stellapps, are in the early stages of developing facial recognition systems for cows. According to the company’s co-founder Ranjith Mukunthan, this technology could revolutionise the dairy industry.

Stellapps’s facial recognition system aims to strengthen animal-related digital data for insurance companies, nutrition providers, and financial institutions which offer loans on cattle.

“The existing ID mechanisms for cattle are either ear-tags or RF (radio frequency) chips” Mukunthan said.

Mukunthan continued: “Both of these are highly vulnerable for ID theft and manipulation. But this system will significantly bring down manipulation as it documents bovine IDs using facial images, body structure and teeth.”

According to Stellapps: “Stellapps’ SmartMoo™ IoT platform acquires data via sensors that are embedded in milking systems, animal wearables, milk chilling equipment and milk procurement peripherals.

“The data acquired is transmitted to the Stellapps SmartMoo™ Big Data Cloud Service Delivery Platform (SDP) where the Stellapps SmartMoo™ suite of applications analyse and crunch the received data before forwarding the analytics & data science outcome to various stakeholders over low-end and smart mobile devices. The patent-pending hardware and software is designed to scale horizontally across other industry verticals.”

Agricultural technology firm, Moofarms, have begun a project using machine learning to tell the difference between cows. According to the researchers, their algorithm is 95% accurate at distinguishing one cow from another.

“This technology can help solve the fraudulent claim settlement issue in the cattle insurance sector wherein the farmer claims (sends ear/ear tag) of an insured cattle, whereas the death has been of uninsured cattle,” Aashna Singh, co-founder, Mooofarm.

In countries that rely greatly on animal agriculture to sustain their economy, this technology is invaluable to the financial security of farmers.

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