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Livestock Production and Welfare Group

Partnering with industry for high impact research in livestock welfare
The Livestock Production and Welfare Group at the University of Sydney partners with industry to monitor and improve the welfare of the livestock in our care and the productivity of the systems in which these animals are raised.

Our aims

Our research focuses on the behavioural and metabolic response of livestock when subjected to adverse welfare conditions, and how this can be used to monitor animal welfare.

Hunger, heat stress, predation, animal handling, and the complex interactions between livestock are all elements contributing to reduced animal welfare. Each of these significant elements constitutes a programme of research in the Livestock Production and Welfare Group. By addressing these factors, we provide welfare solutions for industry while also improving farm productivity.

Research focus

  • Animal behaviour
  • Pain management
  • Heat stress in animals 
  • Agricultural technology and data
  • Farm systems

Current projects

Through novel pain mitigation and wound management strategies we improve the welfare and production of sheep and cattle that are subject to invasive husbandry procedures such as dehorning and castration.

As our environment warms, new systems and resilient animals are required to maintain animal performance and health. Our group is working with the University of Queensland to provide practical options for the Australian livestock industry to reduce heat stress in livestock.

Agtech is revolutionizing our understanding of the welfare and performance of the individual animal within mobs, herds and flocks.

We partner with technology providers and data scientists to solve key industry problems alongside exploiting opportunities for improved farm profitability and animal welfare.

Our current partnership with the University of Queensland is developing new methods to determine Buffalo Fly count on cattle, and in so doing enables the selection of resilient animals.

In addition to working with Meat and Livestock Australia and Alta Animal Welfare Solutions to help ensure the integrity of the red meat supply chain through cattle facial recognition.

We are working with industry to reduce the impact of livestock handling practices that can cause unnecessary stress to the animal. Optimising mustering and the weaning process are key priorities in this area.

We are working with the Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute to increase animal protein supply.

This programme is increasing the nutritive value of Napier Grass offered to native cattle breeds by optimising the timing and degree of defoliation. The group has a particular focus on the resilient Red Chittagong cattle breed.

Our people

Our collaborators

PhD students

Topic: Optimising the cattle weaning process

Sarah's undergraduate project the University of Kentucky, USA focused on the calving behaviour of dairy cattle. Through this study, Sarah became fascinated with understanding cattle behaviour from an individual and herd perspective. 

Applying this background, her PhD aims to challenge the common practice of both the dairy and beef industries to optomise weaning of calves using behaviour, production, technology and biological markers. 

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Topic: Application of integrated sensor-based approaches and animals behavior to improve ruminant resilience to heat

Climate change threatens sustainable livestock production in many parts of the world.

Faysal's research project will validate large-scale machine learning techniques and issues concerning the sensitivity of conventional sensor-based methodologies.It also develops specific sensor-based technologies to improve livestock productivity and animal welfare.

The successful development of sensor-based technologies will enable new traits for genetic selection and earlier intervention to minimize heat stress.

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Topic: Developing environment resilient ruminant systems based on precision livestock farming approaches

Shaheen completed Bachelor of Science in Animal Husbandry and Master of Science in Animal Nutrition from Bangladesh Agricultural University.

He has been serving in the Department of Livestock Services, Bangladesh since 2012 and has been teaching in Jhenaidah Government Veterinary College, Bangladesh since 2016.

Shaheen is interested in developing climate smart livestock production system using smart technologies to enhance production efficiency and welfare status of farm animals.

Optimization of cattle feeding in different production systems using advanced technologies and approaches is also my area of interest.

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Topic: Transforming dairy management through digital agriculture

Alice is a University of Sydney Animal and Veterinary Bioscience graduate with a particular interest in large animal production.

She has a strong passion for animal health and welfare, spending a significant portion of her time in the country working with livestock, which lead to a major in Animal Health, Disease and Welfare.

Alice's passion for research was solidified during her 2021 honours year - her project focused on detecting fly associated behaviours using an ear-mounted accelerometer in beef cattle.

Her PhD work will focus on optimising house dairy cooling systems.

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Topic: Improve the welfare and production of dairy cattle using sensor-derived data

After graduating with a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience, First Class Honours in 2019, Maddi undertook a 9-month dairy internship at the Agricultural Research Institute in Cyprus.

Since her return at the end of 2020, she has worked on the Herd Team at Moxey Farms in Gooloogong, NSW surrounded by 8000 cows and loved it.

Maddi will be working to improve the welfare and production of dairy cattle using sensor-derived data.

Education and training

The Livestock Welfare Group contributes to livestock and animal welfare education through undergraduate teaching and support for postgraduate research students seeking specialist training in this field.

We offer internships to anyone from educational organisations working in animal science and veterinary science. And we provide community outreach through presentations to visiting school groups.


For information about opportunities to study or collaborate with us, please contact A/Prof Cameron Clark at

Cameron Clark

Associate Professor in Livestock Production and Welfare
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