Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the U.S. and Canada, a division of Merck & Co., recently announced the completion of its acquisition of PrognostiX Poultry Limited d/b/a Poultry Sense Ltd. from its founding shareholders. Poultry Sense Ltd. is an innovator in health and environmental monitoring solutions for the poultry industry. In March 2019, Merck Animal Health invested in Poultry Sense Ltd., to support their development. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Poultry Sense Ltd., a privately held company located in Exeter, U.K., provides enhanced technology for poultry farmers to continuously track and analyze overall health performance for the life of the flock. It provides users the capability to measure, compare, and record key health and environmental indicators captured by battery-powered, wireless sensors in the poultry barn, as well as to identify patterns and trends to predict health and well-being and, ultimately, prevent disease and improve performance.
This innovative technology is an important tool used to assess an animal’s health and well-being, which contributes to enhanced productivity and efficacy measures on the farm and, ultimately, to better food safety and security. The sensors allow farmers to monitor and assess vital parameters by measuring weight, water usage, humidity, light, temperature and carbon dioxide. Farmers can therefore gain insight into the housing environment, as well as bird health and performance.
This proprietary technology can detect health conditions earlier in poultry that can lead to illness, thus reducing the potential for disease outbreak. This notification is done via software reports in an easy-to-read dashboard in real-time on any mobile device, desktop, tablet or secure website, which also connects to the cloud.
“We are pleased to take this step forward with the acquisition of Poultry Sense Ltd., as we continue to broaden our portfolio with complementary products and technologies to advance animal well-being and outcomes for our customers,” said Rick DeLuca, president of Merck Animal Health. “We now will be able to provide enhanced health and environmental monitoring technology to the poultry industry, which adds to our technological expertise within our livestock monitoring business with beef and dairy cattle as well as aquaculture, strengthening our leadership in shaping the future of animal health.”
DeLuca said the goal is to improve the detection of animal illness and enable more preventative solutions, including vaccination, to maintain the health of livestock. “We are at the technological forefront of shaping the future of animal health through our commitment to leveraging our scientific and technical capabilities and expertise through comprehensive solutions to manage the health, well-being and performance of animals.”
The Poultry Sense Ltd. product portfolio joins Merck Animal Health Intelligence, a newly formed specialized operating unit which takes its name from the company’s strategic vision for animal health intelligence and data expertise. Merck Animal Health Intelligence is a complementary business that specializes in identification, traceability, monitoring solutions and services to help improve animal management and health outcomes.
“The addition of specialized, digital technology within our portfolio of medicines, vaccines and services, provides holistic solutions to help advance animal health and complements our existing identification and monitoring technology that delivers real-time, actionable data and insights to help, improve or enhance animal management and health outcomes,” said DeLuca.
Alan Beynon, CEO of PrognostiX, commented, “I am delighted that Merck Animal Health has chosen to acquire this tremendous technology.They have the expertise and geographic range to expand the footprint of this product and reach more customers.”
In April 2019, Merck Animal Health announced the completion of its acquisition of market leading brands Allflex Livestock Intelligence, Sure Petcare and Biomark as leaders in emerging digital technology with animal identification, animal monitoring and smart data management for Livestock and Companion Animals. In December 2019, the company acquired Vaki, a leader in fish farming and wild fish conservation monitoring equipment and real-time video monitoring technology to advance fish health and welfare. In June 2020, the company acquired Quantified Ag, an innovator in data and analytics that monitors cattle body temperature and movement in order to detect illness early. In August 2020, the company acquired IdentiGEN, a leader in DNA-based animal traceability solutions for livestock and Aquaculture.