Agroscope FAT Tänikon, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agricultural Economics and Engineering,CH- 8356 Ettenhausen

Electronic livestock identification

Data transfer between farms, dealers, slaughterhouse and the Swiss stock movement database is increasing, especially in response to the requirement for full animal traceability. Identification of individual animals is an important part of this system. The present practice of identifying animals by plastic ear tags has the advantages of being easy to use and inexpensive, and the drawbacks of a greater risk of loss and lack of scope for automatic identification. Various electronic animal identification systems are already on the market. As part of an EU project, Agroscope FAT Tänikon investigated injectable transponders placed inside the abdominal cavity of pigs (intraperitoneal). Some improvements are needed, namely reducing the labour involved in application and subsequent removal at the slaughterhouse, before such a system is ready for practical use. There are also still some shortcomings as regards group identification.

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