News | February 22, 2008

Animal Tagging: Digital Angel's Livestock Tagging Products Help Secure Food Supply

Digital Angel, an advanced technology company in the field of rapid and accurate identification, location tracking and condition monitoring of high-value assets, announced recently the importance of implementing a national animal identification system that provides prompt trace-back following the largest beef recall in United States' history. The system includes electronic radio frequency identification (RFID) tags and scanners that work in conjunction with databases to register livestock information and quickly isolate any problem discovered in an animal from birth through slaughter and distribution, including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Digital Angel's President and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph J. Grillo, said, "Digital Angel, which has been in the livestock tagging business for more than 60 years, provides a thorough technology solution to address food safety concerns with cattle and other livestock. This latest and largest beef recall underscores the importance of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS). As adoption among producers evolves from visual to electronic identification, the status of the food supply will become increasingly safe."

Randolph K. Geissler, President of Digital Angel's animal applications business, said, "The nation's demand for meat products is becoming more and more complicated because of the co-mingling of livestock required to meet this demand. Co-mingled livestock comes from many different producers in many different locations. This complexity reinforces the need for reliable systems to be able to accurately identify the source, age, and other important information on each animal in our food chain. The goal of tracing from ‘food production to fork' of all beef produced in the U.S. is becoming increasingly non-negotiable. This major recall heightens the reality of this need."

Digital Angel was the first company to have its electronic RFID livestock tagging system approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for use in the NAIS in 2006. The NAIS is a cooperative program between state and federal governments and the livestock industry to help trace, manage and eradicate animal diseases like BSE. Digital Angel is also 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.

In both 2005 and 2006, the United States Congress (through annual appropriations bills) acknowledged RFID technology and specifically Digital Angel's RFID technology as a viable and logical solution to the country's health concerns related to BSE and other infectious diseases.

About Digital Angel
Digital Angel is a leading provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) and global positioning system (GPS) technologies that enable the rapid and accurate identification, location tracking and condition monitoring of people, animals and high-value assets. Digital Angel's products are utilized around the world in such applications as pet identification using its patented, FDA-approved implantable microchip; livestock identification and tracking using visual and RFID ear tags; and GPS search and rescue beacons for use on aircraft, ships and boats, and by adventure enthusiasts. Digital Angel is the owner of a majority position in VeriChip Corporation.

SOURCE: Digital Angel