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Res Vet Sci. 2012 Aug;93(1):549-52. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2011.06.007. Epub 2011 Jul 6.

Data-loggers carried on a harness do not adversely affect sheep locomotion.

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  • 1Structure and Motion Laboratory, The Royal Veterinary College, University of London, Hawkshead Lane, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK.


The use of externally fitted motion sensors to animal subjects has the potential for allowing researchers to investigate subtle changes in animal movement that may occur with the onset of specific diseases. However, it is crucial to consider whether or not the use of such technology has an effect on the variables measured. Here, we examine the effect of a body harness data logging device on the locomotive patterns of female Merino sheep, Ovis aries. We extracted locomotion variables typical of motion sensor data (stride frequency, stride length, gait type, speed, and limb velocity) from high-definition video collected under controlled conditions. We found no significant difference between the variables measured in the harnessed and unharnessed conditions. Overall, our experiment demonstrates that data-loggers carried on a harness do not adversely affect sheep locomotion, and extended periods of habituation post-instalment of devices should ensure consistency and accuracy of data in future experiments.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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