Tyson supports University-developed US animal disease ID system


By JC Post, WIBW (KS) 

Apr. 27, 2021


MANHATTAN, Kan. (JC Post) - A national cattle identification system that was first developed at Kansas State University has received a big boost of support from one of the country’s largest food companies.


Tyson Fresh Meats, a subsidiary of Tyson Foods Inc., is backing U.S. CattleTrace, a system that uses ear tags with ultrahigh-frequency technologies to establish a national animal disease traceability system.


The system was first tested in 2018 as a pilot project led by K-State, the Kansas Livestock Association, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and individual producers.


At the time, university researchers were interested in developing a system to help safeguard Kansas’ $17 billion cattle industry. The idea was to garner support among producers, who would attach ear tags with ultrahigh-frequency chips. As cattle moved through the production system, researchers could collect data on their locations and movements on computers located centrally in Manhattan.


In the case of a disease outbreak, knowing the movements of a given group of cattle — and what herds they may have interacted with — is a big advantage to keeping the entire industry from facing a shutdown. Having information on the movement of cattle herds would mean that only a small segment of animals would need to be isolated.


Tyson’s support is a key indicator that...


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