Europe

Russian cows get VR headsets 'to reduce anxiety'

Cow dons VR headset on a Russian farm Image copyright Moscow Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Image caption The headsets were specially adapted to fit cow heads

A Russian farm has given its dairy cows virtual reality headsets in a bid to reduce their anxiety.

The herd donned VR systems adapted for the "structural features of cow heads" and were shown a "unique summer field simulation program".

Moscow's Ministry of Agriculture and Food cited research which they say has shown a link between a cow's emotional experience and its milk yield.

Initial tests reportedly boosted "the overall emotional mood of the herd".

According to a statement from the ministry, the experiments took place at the RusMoloko farm in Moscow's Ramensky district.

"Examples of dairy farms from different countries show that in a calm atmosphere, the quantity, and sometimes the quality, of milk increases markedly," it read.

Researchers will examine the effects of the programme in a long-term study. The developers reportedly hope to expand the project if positive results continue.

You may also be interested in:

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionHow a "virtual reality" system for mice is being used to investigate brain function

More on this story