Dr Emma Baxter

Session: Research into Practice


Presentation: 3D cameras can alert farmers to problem behaviours in pigs



Dr Emma Baxter is a research scientist at Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), with expertise in animal welfare and behaviour and interests in integrated pig science. Her research interests include:

  • neonatal survival
  • developing alternative farrowing and lactation systems and implementing uptake of high welfare systems and practices
  • mitigating the health and welfare impacts of selection for production traits such as hyper-prolificacy
  • using technology to allow early detection of animal health and welfare problems and identifying affective state
  • optimising performance of high welfare systems using genetic selection strategies
  • understanding the short- and long-term health and welfare benefits of positive early-life experiences and understanding negative affective states in sows (e.g. hunger and exhaustion) and their impact on mother and offspring (pre- and post-natal)
  • investigating humane pre-slaughter stunning techniques

Emma has published over 35 peer reviewed manuscripts and book chapters including reviews on piglet survival, alternative farrowing and lactation environments and the management and welfare issues that surround large litter size in pigs.

Industry engagement activities are a main part of her work and include traditional consultations as well as on-line platforms (e.g. www.freefarrowing.org).

She is an independent scientific advisor on several panels including the RSPCA’s Pigs Standards Technical Advisory Group and the EU pig welfare sub-group.