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Posted on September 30, 2005 by  & 

Food animal identification report to be published

AIM Global is preparing for publication of a Technical Report entitled "RFID for Food Animal Identification in North America." The document has been approved by the AIM Global Board of Directors.
Designed to address the specific needs of the food animal supply chain in North America, the technical report provides recommendations for the use of existing Low Frequency (LF) RFID ear tags (conforming to ISO 11784, ISO 11785, and ISO 14223) as well as Ultra High Frequency (UHF) (conforming to ISO/IEC 18000-6B, ISO/IEC 18000-6C when published, ISO/IEC 15961, ISO/IEC 15962, and ISO/IEC 15434).
With the frequent transport of food animals, primarily beef cattle, across borders in North America and with recent BSE ("mad cow disease") incidents, both Canada and the U.S. have issued mandates to improve tracking of cattle. The AIM technical report was developed in response to those mandates and is intended to be applicable to all species of food animals.
While both bar code and LF RFID ear tags have been available for a number of years, both have limitations in range and the need for an external database to provide access to pertinent data.
Recommendations in the technical report include provision for pertinent data to be recorded directly in memory on the ear tag, speeding data collection and animal identification.
According to the work group that developed the technical report, the use of UHF RFID offers greater range, data capacity and read/write capabilities not currently available in existing LF systems.
Limited testing that was conducted at Kansas State University, as well as by several wildlife management groups, has shown that UHF RFID can be used effectively for food animal ID and is compatible with farming and ranching practices used in North America. However, IDTechEx note that this would only apply to ear tags not bolus ones (in the stomach of a cow or sheep) or ones injected under the skin or in the hoof. These have to cope with ware bearing material nearby and they need to be smaller and lozenge shaped - not realistic with UHF.
It is recognized that the recommendation for the use of UHF ear tags is somewhat out in front of the development of commercial products that can conform to the rigorous environmental conditions specified in the document. The work group recognized that, without the guidance provided by the technical report, a wide range of products with widely differing capabilities and memory allocations might be developed and offered as a solution.
The technical report is designed to avoid such confusion in the marketplace.
The AIM Global Animal ID work group recognized that governments and users outside North America may have different requirements for food animal identification or different UHF radio regulations and, as such, may not be able to implement the UHF recommendations. However, the work group did not intend to limit the adoption of the recommendations by any other government wishing to employ it as a national standard.
The AIM Global Animal ID work group is also encouraging the appropriate ISO committee(s) to develop a comprehensive standard for the use of RFID for food animal identification that incorporates all applicable forms of RFID including 134.2 KHz, 13.56 MHz and UHF, and that supports the various global business practices.
The document will be available at no cost in the AIM Document Library when published.
Food & Livestock Traceability 2006 conference will be held on February 1-2 2006 in Dallas, USA. This hot topic is driven by health scares, bioterrorism and new laws. It will become the largest RFID application but we cover DNA and many other vital technologies as well. For further details please visit {}
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