Metrology applied to medical and biological disciplines is an ancient and multidisciplinary science of which there is evidence already from ancient Egypt, when a measure called "cubit", which included the distance between the hand and elbow of individuals, was used to classify morphologically the people, referring to them the reference measure represented by the "cubit" of the pharaoh.
Metrology studies measurements of magnitude in order to have official references (units of measurement) to refer to, to identify measurement systems, means and methods for following measurements of various kinds.
The National Institute of Metrological Research defines biomedical metrology as a measurement activity applicable to biomedical, biological and, therefore also medical and veterinary sciences, aimed at identifying new diagnostic and therapeutic methodologies to which I would also add somatic and physical on samples and subjects of animal origin.
Metrology applied to veterinary sciences can offer a wide field of action that can include strictly macro-morphological studies of zootechnical and animal production, up to more sophisticated studies that can also include ultrastructural biological measurement techniques, such as those of metrology of nucleic acids also attributable to the chapter of the so-called traceable measures for medicine, which represent the application of metrological measurement principles to guarantee the comparability and accuracy of each measurement.
From this premise it can thus be deduced how measurement techniques and metrology itself can be widely used in veterinary medicine, including metrological detection systems that involve all animal species and numerous scientific disciplines: small and large animals, domestic and wild animals, exotic animals and entomology, animal husbandry, anatomy, microbiology and virology, pathology and parasitology, clinical sciences, ichthyology, forensic sciences, ecc.
The scope of veterinary medicine is wide, covering all animal species, both domesticated and wild, with a wide range of conditions that can affect different species. Veterinary science helps human health through the monitoring and control of zoonotic disease (infectious disease transmitted from nonhuman animals to humans), food safety, and indirectly through human applications from basic medical research.
In this scenario, the techniques of Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) can guarantee an automated and continuous real-monitoring of the animals, in terms of health and welfare, production, reproduction and environmental impact. The real-monitoring (24/24h) allows to improve animal derived food together with the health and welfare of livestock, minimizing the negative impacts of production on the environment and increasing the sustainability of supply chains.
All these deep changes are possible also thanks to the recent developments in the field of metrology. Actually, the monitoring and the control of remote physical phenomena require the development of new sensors, acquisition techniques, data analysis, new architecture of data acquisition systems, and so on.
The field is also covered by some National and International Organizations providing Guidelines, Standards and Certification for animal identification, animal recording and animal evaluation; e.g. the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) establishes and maintains guidelines and standards for best practice in all aspects of animal identification and recording, certifyies equipment, and processes used in animal identification, recording and genetic evaluations.