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Vol. 9, Special Issue, December 2010, pp.127-150



Pain Sensing System for Animals



School of Engineering and Advanced Technology

Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand



Received: 27 September 2010   /Accepted: 30 November 2010   /Published: 30 December 2010


Abstract: Castration, tail docking and ear tagging are examples of painful process that the lambs in New Zealand undergo in their early life. Massey University is conducting a research to measure the pain sensitivity in animals based upon applying mechanical force. The research will help in better understanding the development of pain sensitivity in the animal, and hence improving the welfare of the lambs and other animals. The traditional measurement system is pneumatic and it has some associated drawbacks such as; inaccuracy in measuring the applied force, inconsistent rate of force application, leaks in the system, and issues of impracticality and safety.


This paper presents a new pain sensing system based on the use of stepping motor for applying force and flexiforce sensor for measuring the applied force. The new sensing system was successfully tested on a frozen lamb leg and then on life sheep.


Keywords: Pain sensing, Flexiforce, Stepping motor


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