Sheep tag innovation could increase accuracy

Work to develop a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tag could help improve the accuracy of sheep identification compared to traditional EID tags, according to researchers.

The ROSEI project, which is part of a €1.6m European initiative, aims to produce a RFID ear tag that will improve the probability of 100% accurate identification of sheep; something that is vital for food chain tracking and for farmers who are reliant on single-farm subsidies.

Current EC legislation can be difficult to meet with the existing low-frequency (LF) identification systems, which reportedly only recall 90-95% of tagged sheep, say researchers. Any misidentified animals could result in a subsidy penalty.

Brian Stevens, project manager at Pera Technology, said: “Current methods of group identification are inadequate and can lead to severe penalties, which farmers can ill afford. If successful in reaching our objectives, livestock farmers will have an affordable and reliable response to EC legislation.”

The ROSEI proposal is for a LF and ultra high frequency (UHF) dual-band solution that will offer longer range and faster read rates.

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