AI system for the automated measuringof tail length and tail lesionsof pigs at the slaughter line

TAILSCAN is set to revolutionise the landscape of pig farming, elevating welfare standards and transforming meat inspection practices combining Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision.

TAILSCAN addresses the challenges of tail biting among pigs, the unwanted practice of tail docking and their impact on pig welfare.

Project Background

The current EU legislation prohibits the routine tail docking of pigs, emphasising that it is allowed only in exceptional cases and under stringent conditions. Over the years, legislation has evolved, outlining strict measures and recommendations to reduce tail docking and promote actions aimed at ensuring greater welfare for pigs, but taildocking is still practised routinely in most farms of most EU Member States.


Preventive Measures Lacking

Non-adoption of preventive identification methods

Problem quantification

Measuring the extent of tail biting issues

Inaccurate Lesion Assessment

Rough tail lesion evaluation at slaughterhouses

Standardization Gap

Need for a unified system to evaluate tail length

Monitoring tool deficit

Absence of effective monitoring tools.

Prevention Shortfall

Absence of measures to prevent tail biting and monitor the extent of tail biting issues

How it Works


EU Pilot Projects & Preparation Actions (PPPA) - ANIMALWELFARE-2022-TAILDOCKING

TAILSCAN was awarded under the call “Develop a system for the automated measuring of tail length and tail lesions of pigs at the slaughter line (at a large scale)” within the framework of the EU Pilot Projects & Preparation Actions (PPPA) -ANIMALWELFARE-2022-TAILDOCKING


The automated measuring system will serve as a systematic, comprehensive and tailored feedback system to assist farmers to:

1. Early sign of identification:

Detect tail biting episodes for prevention

2. Monitoring episodes

Observe tail biting to take appropriate corrective measures

3. Docking alternatives

Experiment with methods to transition from routine tail docking

4. Swift detection

Quicky notice tail biting signs in pigs batches

5. Transition trials

Conduct trials to shift from tail docking to rearing intact pigs


The project involves important players of the zootechnical sector and prestigious academic partners: they will all contribute to pave the way to this new era where sustainability and innovation represent the same objective/are close objectives.

Reference Group

Project stakeholders will provide the consortium with insightful perspectives on the project

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or HaDEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them

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