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Wednesday, February 02, 2005

RFID, Cell Tech, GPS Come Together To Combine Animal ID program

(Via Smartmobs)As animals are loaded onto trucks, an onboard reader collects a time and date stamp, location information using GPS technology, and identification numbers for the site and each individual animal. The data is sent via cell phone to a database. If the cattle are loaded or unloaded in a remote location without cellular service,the information is stored in the onboard computer and automatically transmitted as soon as the truck passes a cell phone tower. On any given day in Kansas, between 400 and 500 trucks are on the road hauling cattle. On average, cattle are shipped four times in their lives.The state has only 1.5 million head of brood cows, but feeds 6 million cattle and slaughters 7 million head of cattle each year, he said. About 5.1 million cattle are shipped into Kansas from elsewhere in the nation."Within 24 hours from either coast, we can have cattle that can arrive in Kansas," Spire said. "What that means is that Kansas is a state at risk for the introduction of potential animal diseases."
However, the project's developers fear individual readers, which would be used only once or twice a year, would end up at the bottom of the farmer's toolbox, left out in the weather or where rats could eat its wiring. Ranchers are also worried about the security of the information, as well as adopting technology that either doesn't work or becomes outdated quickly.

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