Some more interesting information on the "wonder tags," the RFID tags that the Government wants us to use on our cattle for the National Animal Identification System.
BeefTalk: Electronic identification - Two steps ahead, one back
Attempts to implement a national identification program for animal trace-back have been noticed. News about the outbreak of a disease with notable impact has increased the pro and con discussion, but the lasting outcome is far from defined.
The Dickinson Research Extension Center is involved in a project that is designed to monitor cattle in transit and locate cattle during shipment. This research involves evaluating the ability to read calves going on and off a truck using low-frequency RFID (radio frequency identification) tags.
So, what did their research show?
For the optimist, the trial was 94.4 percent successful. For the practical cattle producer, only four of the six runs actually resulted in a 94.4 percent or higher success rate. In reality, only 66.7 percent of the runs actually achieved a realistic outcome, while 33.3 percent failed. One tag failed twice, requiring three reads to achieve a 100 percent read for this set of data.
ONLY 66.7% ACHIEVED A REALISTIC OUTCOME. That's horrible. The Government wants us to rely on a technology that is only effective 2/3 of the time. Sorry Charlie, that's just not going to work. How much more work and labor is this system going to entail with these kind of numbers? I don't even want to think about it. Running the cattle and reading the tags time and time again because the system doesn't work right. You start running over 500 cows with these kinds of numbers and the chances of getting a good read on them are slim to none.
This whole NAIS system needs to be scaled back a whole lot. A herd ID system with permanent metal tags would be the easiest, low tech solution that could be made to work for all. I still wouldn't like it particularly, but it would work.
An ear tag never stopped a disease, but it sure entices the government to foist off a failed technology on us, the producers.