US producer tracks cattle... wirelessly

A US producer has developed a high-tech method of monitoring his livestock movements and health and has now signed a deal with a university to aid research.

D Bret Smith, a producer in Salt Lake, Utah, founded a company called TekVet to develop what he described as a breakthrough in tracking the health of livestock.

A wireless high-tech ear tag has been developed, which incorporates a digital thermometer and computer chip. The tag allows producers to continuously monitor their cattle's location and core temperature to determine which animals might be sick and which other cattle they might have come into contact with.

The sensors transmit an identification number and the animal's temperature to a computer every hour, using transmitters placed around the feed lots. The information can also be accessed remotely via the internet, allowing producers to monitor their livestock from anywhere in the world.

TekVet has now signed an agreement with Utah State University's College of Agriculture to use the system in some of its ongoing research efforts with beef and dairy cattle. "We recognise the importance of research," said Smith,

"especially if it can build consumer confidence in our food and meat supply."

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