Keeping Track

US - An electronic beef-tracking program is drawing both controversy and support in the cattle industry.
calendar icon 1 February 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
Although the program is not required yet, a compulsory tagging program is being considered by people in the industry.

Mike Jones, mill supervisor of Flint Hills Feed Lot, said a tag is attached to a calf’s ear. The tag has an ID number on it and a radio frequency chip that allows the animal to be tracked all the way to the processing plant.

“Basically they are a copper wire around a tag,” Jones said.

He said the controversy surrounding the tags is the ability to track the animals.

“A lot of the older guys that do cattle are thinking that it is a way the government is trying to control them,” Jones said. “The information from these units is not accessible to the government unless there is a major problem, and (then) only the files on that animal will be viewable by the government.”

Brody Peak, owner of Emporia Livestock Sales, says the electronic ear tags will put a great burden on the small to medium sized sale barns.

The information now goes to a private database.

Source: The Emporia Gazette
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