Business

Moscow is testing VR headsets to improve cows’ mental health

There is skepticism online that it’s a PR stunt but it’s still a very cute PR stunt.

A few lucky bovines in Moscow have been the first cows to try new VR headsets specially designed to reduce anxiety and improve milk production.

It’s very cute.

The Moscow Ministry of Food and Agriculture confirmed in a press release this week that a VR headset prototype had been specially made to fit the proportions of a cow head.

But wait, it gets cuter.

Inside the VR goggles are visions of a “unique summer field simulation”. The cows think they’re frolicking around in their own personal paradise.

“According to an analysis of the welfare of dairy cattle by Wageningen University employees in the Netherlands, environmental conditions have a significant impact on cow health and, as a consequence, the quality and quantity of milk produced,” the press release claimed.

The Ministry also analysed interviews with dairy farmers to confirm the relationship between a happy cow and a cow that produces more milk.

And now the world has VR goggles for cows.

Although further tests are needed to confirm that the VR goggles actually lead to better milk production, the Ministry reports that initial deployment was positive.

“During the first test, experts recorded a decrease in anxiety and an increase in the overall emotional mood of the herd,” the Ministry claims.

However, there has been some skepticism online about the design of the goggles considering a cow’s field of view.

However, even if it is a PR stunt, it’s still a joy to see a cow in a VR headset. Let’s look at it again.

Excellent.

Thankfully for human’s mental health, this is not the first time obscure yet adorable methods have been used to improve the lives of cows.   

Staying in Russia, the Ministry reports that many dairy farms pump in classical music to milking stations to relax the animals, which has been proven conducive to higher milk yields.

In Europe, the UK and US ‘cow brushes’ that rotate and massage cows have become increasingly common. Not only do the brushes result in a calmer herd but they also improve hygiene.

Here’s a cow is Switzerland absolutely vibing her brush massage.

Not only is it a delight to watch but a study by Cornell University found the brushes improved milk production by a litre a day and reduced the chance of clinical mastitis.

Cow brushes have proven to be such a vital addition to cow fields that earlier in the year Denmark passed a law to make them a requirement in all lots.

Now, let’s all look at the picture of the cow in the headset one more time.

Ahhh, that’s the good stuff.

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