TAGGING ANIMALS WITH RFID TECHNOLOGY NOT ONLY FOR BUSINESS
Probably you don’t imagine that RFID for animals is one of the highest profitable markets: according to 2021IDTechEX report it has an overall value of USD 4.09 billion that increased from USD 1.17 billion in 2011.
It’s important to highlight that while almost 45% of the value concerns livestock and farming, growing applications refer to pets.
Tagged animals go from sturgeons in Canada, to reindeer in Lapland, pandas in China, kangaroo in Australia, sheep and goats in Europe and also cats and dogs.
Some veterinarians are pushing for all household animals to be tracked using RFID in order to create a common database to store animal’s information, pedigree, medical details or to identify lost and found pets and reunite them with their owners.
Another important reason to identify animals using RFID is to manage exotic and endangered animals on preserves or other wildlife habitats.
RFID FOR LIVESTOCK MANAGEMENT
With an overall population of more than 22.4 million animals (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs) in Italy (ISTAT December 2021), RFID technology is becoming very attractive for farmers:
- RFID tags can integrate traditional eartag in livestock management;
- Animals receive RFID tags at birth that provide identification and allow monitoring throughout their lifetime;
- Farmers use RFID to track livestock inventory, as well as record essential health data for each animal and manage animal disease, veterinarian information and so on, important not only on individual farms but also when buying, selling and transporting.
A tamper-proof RFID tag is generally attached to the ear of each animal – the process is similar to piercing a human ear – and each animal is thus assigned a unique digit tracking number that provides identification.
Farmers use readers, portable or fixed, to quickly monitor their animals. All data feed the internal system for tracking and analysis.
WHY RFID IS BETTER?
In comparison to other identification system, RFID help farmers in reducing time and errors: the reading process is far simpler and less time-consuming, since RFID tags don’t need to be visually read and do not require animals to stand still, which opens up reading options as animals can be scanned in the field, during feeding or anywhere they happen to be.
RFID MAIN BENEFITS FOR ANIMALS TRACKING
The most important issue with animals regards diseases: managing and preventing the spread of disease is, perhaps, the most important aspect.
When farmers buy, sell or trade livestock, cohabitating animals from different environments are at risk for developing or transmitting diseases: timing is essential to stop animals movements once symptoms appear, in order to prevent the infection from spreading, and RFID grants a faster identification and tracking in this case.
In general RFID is part of a trend toward a “smart farming” that uses technology to improve livestock management, to have better milking, feeding, breeding, to assure time and labor savings, more accurate data, faster decision taking.
RFID FOR FOOD TAGGING
All this then helps the following steps that are related to food sector: accurate food traceability is difficult to achieve without RFID, and that’s why, in many cases, governments are pushing its use for reasons of safety and efficiency.
We’ll deep dive in this topic in one of our next articles …
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