WHO'S SHEEP IS THAT?
When animals move through different holdings, farms, or markets, it is very difficult to track where each animal is going without individual identification and recording. Should there be a disease outbreak the uncontrolled movement of animals could cause the further and rapid spread of disease over a large geographical area. Therefore the tracing of each individual animal is vitally important to control infectious diseases.
WHY DO IT?
The 2001 foot and mouth epidemic cost the UK more than €11Bn, €4Bn in direct costs to the public sector and about €7Bn in costs to tourism and the rural economy. Compensation payment-in-part to farmers for the slaughter of their animals was placed at €1.6Bn (£1.34Bn)
SNAGS WITH THE TAGS?
The technology stipulated by the EU uses Low Frequency (LF, 134.2 kHz) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags. These are used at flock control points (e.g. markets and abattoirs) where the animals are electronically identified. But, the mandated LF systems deliver limited accuracy (only 90% of tagged sheep when used in bunched conditions at market control points). The legislation and disease control systems call for higher accuracies - that is the challenge.
THE ROSEI INITIATIVE
ROSEI takes a hard look at what is affordable, compliant and offers the best of low frequency, high frequency and dual mode tagging technology. The ROSEI project is a €1.6M European initiative to bring state of the art device physics, mobile information technology and systems engineering to that end. This web site tells you about the partners and our project.