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August 2, 2006

The following piece was circulated today by the “Goat Working Group” on which NPGA HER Committee Member Ray Hoyt serves. It appears to be some type of press release.

First Livestock Tagging System to Win Government Approval for Program to Protect the Health of U.S. Livestock. South St. Paul, MN, August 1

Digital Angel Corporation (Amex: DOC - News), an advanced technology company in the field of rapid and accurate identification, location tracking, and condition monitoring of high-value assets, announced today that its electronic RFID (radio frequency identification) livestock tagging system has been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Digital Angel is the first animal tag manufacturer to be designated as an Animal Identification (AIN) tag manufacturer by the USDA, which signifies that the Company’s tagging system is capable of identifying livestock with the unique, lifetime animal identification number that is being established as a national standard through the NAIS.
The NAIS, a cooperative program between the state and federal governments and livestock industry to help trace, manage and eradicate animal diseases like Mad Cow Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease, Pseudo-Rabies Disease and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome in pigs, is being run by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). APHIS launched the voluntary NAIS in 2004 with the premises registration system and is now continuing its advancement by implementing the animal identification component. While USDA has established visual tags as the minimum standard for some species, cattle for example, producers may elect to use ear tags with RFID technology incased in the official identification tags.
“This is a stamp of approval and an important acknowledgement of the integrity of our tagging system,” said Digital Angel President and CEO Kevin N. McGrath. “The USDA underwent a thorough review of our identification tags and came away convinced that we can produce livestock tags that are up to its standards, but also ensure the uniqueness of the numbers attributed to individual animals that assist in tracking the animal’s origin and movement throughout its life. The flexibility to use the AIN tags in other programs outside the scope of NAIS, like source and age verification programs as well as basic management practices, provides the opportunity for producers to fully utilize the capability of our electronic ear tags.”
Digital Angel, which has been in the livestock tagging business since 1945, has developed a proprietary and comprehensive RFID traceability system that includes electronic tags and scanners as well as a related IT system that can provide for the identification and tracking of all animals tagged as part of the NAIS. The target date for having all livestock identified that are covered in the NAIS guidelines is early 2009.
Digital Angel sells its electronic tags under the brand names e.Tag ™ and Destron Combo e.Tag ™.

About Digital Angel Corporation
Digital Angel Corporation develops and deploys sensor and communications technologies that enable rapid and accurate identification, location tracking, and condition monitoring of high-value assets. Applications for the Company’s products include identification and monitoring of humans, pets, fish, poultry and livestock through its patented implantable microchips; location tracking and message monitoring of vehicles and aircraft in remote locations through systems that integrate GPS and geosynchronous satellite communications; and monitoring of asset conditions such as temperature and movement, through advanced miniature sensors.
Digital Angel Corporation is majority-owned by Applied Digital Inc. (Nasdaq: ADSX-News). For more information about Digital Angel, please visit www.DigitalAngelCorp.com.

* * * * *

The information in the above piece would give the impression that eartags, with or without RFID implants, are the only animal identification method on the table. This is absolutely not the case. I sent this press release to Elsie McCoy, known to many of you as the Manager of Customer Service and Sales for EZID Animal ID (Avid Microchips) in Greeley, Colorado. Excerpted here are some of her reactions:

“I have talked with reps from NAIS who confirm the acceptance of microchips as well as the tags and (who) understand ear tags are NOT the best choice for all animals. They said the first stage is the ear tags because of cattle, but people can choose what they want as long as they are ISO compatible.”
“…people need to be educated that that they do have a choice. Ear tags are NOT for everyone and are not the only choice of RFID that meet NAIS requirements.”
“I am concerned that a lot of state vets are being ‘led’ in the ear tag direction without completely understanding the whole concept and available RFID choices; and then making state mandates on inadequate information that do not meet the needs of the people and their animals.”
“You and your organization and others like you need to keep speaking up and saying you want and already successfully use microchips for tamperproof, permanent identification! Don’t stop speaking up or you could be swept under the rug for lack of resistance.”

Kay Orlando, the HER Committee Chair, has provided the following reaction to the above. “Destron is a competitor with AVID. Their microchips emit a different frequency - commonly known as ISO chips. They are used in Canada and Europe. At this time, AVID readers cannot read Destron chips or vice versa. I would think that AVID would be a strong ally in the microchip area. They have a large share of the market and do not want the ISO chips to dominate…”



Ray Hoyt
Member, NPGA HER Committee
NAIS Coordinator

 

 
 

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