Aground-breaking project to develop an accurate and cost-efficient method formonitoring sheep movements is now under development thanks to a project team headedby Melton-Mowbray based Pera Technology.
Theobjective of the ROSEI project is to develop a Radio Frequency Identification(RFID) ear tag that will improve the probability of 100% accurateidentification of sheep; something that is vital for food-chain tracking andfor farmers who are reliant on single farm subsidies. The solution willfinally provide an affordable and reliable response to the current burden onlivestock farmers to meet European Commission (EC) legislation which was strengthenedfollowing the 2001 foot and mouth outbreak.
Thecurrent EC legislation is difficult to meet with the existing Low Frequency(LF) identification systems, which reportedly only recall 90% to 95% of taggedsheep. Any misidentified animals could result in a significant subsidy penalty.
BrianStevens, Project Manager at Pera Technology, said: Current methods of groupidentification are inadequate and can lead to severe penalties, which farmerscan ill afford. More importantly, the uncontrolled movement of animals couldlead to the spread of disease, which was the main driver for the introductionof such stringent legislation in the first place.
Ifsuccessful in reaching our objectives, livestock farmers will have anaffordable and reliable response to EC legislation. This could protect themfrom subsidy loss of 10s of thousands of pounds and the country against arepeat of the 11 billion loss that occurred during the 2001 foot and mouthoutbreak.
TheROSEI proposal is for a LF and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) dual band solutionwhich will offer longer range and faster read rates. It will also permit theimplementation of advanced livestock management systems that use electronicidentification to accurately monitor animals. The project is a 1.6 million Europeaninitiative to develop a solution using state of the art device physics, mobileinformation technology, and systems engineering.