Indian group proposes global traceability system

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Real ID Ltd, based in Mumbai, India has developed an electronic identification and management system for livestock, which they say can create national livestock registries and reliable global supply chain traceability for animals and animal products.

CSS Rao, the company’s managing director, presented a paper outlining the concept at the 2012 conference of the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR) earlier this year in Cork, Ireland. Rao says the system will provide secure electronic identification for individual livestock, irrefutably linked to their true ownership at any given time, for use in management, marketing, disease mitigation and prevention of theft.

The system would use electronic identification devices such as ear tags, implants or boluses, linked to an electronic ID smart card issued by government authorities to the owners and traders of livestock.

Rao says that ID systems around the world have developed methods for identifying individual animals, but have overlooked the importance and necessity of simultaneously identifying and registering their owners and the supply chain operators, using uniform global practices and codified systems, in order to complete the chain of identification.

According to Rao, livestock identification comprises two main requirements:

  • Private or management identification operated by individual farmers for their own needs
  • Official or national identification, mandated by a government authority, such as for animal health or food safety.

Individual countries or supply chains might also have additional traceability goals, such as for food labeling. Rao says the system provides a harmonized convergence of data to efficiently achieve all these needs.

The system, he says provides owner-centric livestock identification by dealing with livestock groups via a “Group Livestock & Farm ID System.”  For disease traceability, farm of source is vitally important and more relevant than tracing an individual animal, he says, so the system traces farm ownership and treats the entire farm as one entity.

If, for example, a ban is to be imposed on import of beef from certain jurisdictions by a given country, the system would reference the appropriate Identifier Groups in the 18-digit numbering system of the Group Livestock & Farm ID Card, directed at a given country, province or even specific farm which needs to be banned  or isolated.

The 18-digit numbering system for an individual livestock owner ID card, which would be linked to animal ID devices, would include:

  • Country code – three digits
  • Provence code – two digits
  • District code – two digits
  • ID card type – one digit
  • Farmer-specific code – five digits
  • Livestock species code – two digits
  • Year of commencement of livestock farming – two digits
  • Farmer rating – one digit

The Livestock Identity Smart Card would serve as the crucial operating interface between livestock owners, their livestock and the National Livestock Registry in a given country, which would be a government owned and operated centralized repository of all essential data pertaining to livestock and their owners. The livestock data stored on this national-level database, Rao says, serves as the foundational platform for implementing a unique system of supply chain traceability and e-governance via the permanent identity number linked to Livestock Ownership ID Cards issued to livestock owners and traders.

Details of the proposed system are available in Rao’s Power Point presentation or his full paper from the proceedings of the ICAR conference in Ireland.

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Tx  |  October, 24, 2012 at 09:39 AM

1. We've already been through this with NAIS and it was soundly rejected at the grass roots level because the disease tracking system got hijacked by other special interests and had to be revised just to keep it alive. 2. I'm all for this system if the government, packers, or whoever collects and uses the data from these devises PAYS ME $200 up front per head for the data that they will be gathering. Farmer rating? Who will use that? PETA, Packers (Carcass quality), or govt. 3. One step closer to a one world economy, government, and religion.

October, 24, 2012 at 01:25 PM

Only $200 per head? Maybe ...if you credit me the same for every black helicopter you see!

Central MN  |  October, 24, 2012 at 03:00 PM

I am all for animal ID, however, I want to get paid for it. If we have to buy extra equipment, run cattle through chutes more you have higher overhead and risk injury by handling livestock more. You are forced to run less margins just to maintain an ID program? That doesn't make sense. Now, if the packers agreed to pay 40-50 dollars more per head to find out which state, county, and a grower id was so that the shopper mom's feel better I would gladly participate. We keep track of all our animals already for breeding purposes and genetics so it wouldn't be hard. If we are forced to do it I believe all "grain only" farms need to do it. Then we will have complete documentation from start to finish. Those guys work 7-9 weeks out of the year. They don't know what it's like to sleep in the barn to try and keep your operation alive.

SD  |  October, 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM

Not commenting on the merits or lack thereof for an ID system here, but what of the places, or do they still exist, where cattle are worshipped, and not eaten or used? What happens there, are they even 'owned'? If I want to use ID for my own reasons, and to prevent spread of damaging disease, I believe we should ID, but only if it is a verifiable system and those who do not participate will not get the benefit.

Nebraska  |  October, 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Usually everyone is forced to participate while only a few benefit.

PA  |  October, 25, 2012 at 08:22 AM

This, like gun control, is about control and nothing more. Like gun control, registration is the first step to confiscation. Beware!

TX  |  October, 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I was just throwing a fair number out there for my time and data value. If you think our already bankrupt government or the people proposing this system are going to pay ANY price to the producer, you are in fantasy land. They want to force you to use their system for one purpose, say disease traceability, and then use the data for many other reasons. Happens all the time. Black helicopters are too expensive and old technology, drones are the way it's going.

vast Midwest "fly over" lands  |  October, 25, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Daniel in Texas has it right: it's all about CONTROL. which then morphs to CONFISCATION. why is it they can trace a diseased animal's birthplace, genetics and current GPS location with certitude and in minutes, BUT can't "find" the 12,000,000 iellegals in America?


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