Brand Policy: Electronic Identification
Ongoing Developments in Technology
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is a requirement for all livestock (cattle, bison and sheep) leaving the herd of origin in Canada. The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA), in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), is responsible for the administration of Canada’s national livestock identification program.
CCIA currently has approved for use in Canada several low-frequency (LF) RFID tags by numerous manufacturers that operate in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 11784 and 11785 approved 125–134.2 kHz frequency range. These LF-RFID tags have been approved in both full-duplex (FDX) and half duplex (HDX) platforms; and tag readers in Canada are required to be able to read both technologies.
The difference between FDX and HDX is that when scanned, FDX transponders will communicate continuously with the tag reader. They simultaneously receive and transmit information to and from the reader. A HDX transponder receives a signal from the tag reader and alternates transmitting and receiving at a very high rate of speed.
Recent advances in Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) technology with active, semi-active or passive battery assistance have made this technology a serious consideration for livestock identification in the near future. Operating in the ISO 18000-6-C approved 860 - 960 MHz range, UHF-RFID is quickly becoming a viable alternative to LF technology.
Several large Multi-National Companies (MNC) are moving to inventory item tracking and this has resulted in significant investment into research and product development in the UHF-RFID industry. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved UHF-RFID technology as an acceptable form of livestock identification.
Livestock Identification Services has partnered with UHF-RFID tag manufacturers to test the possible application of this technology in the Canadian livestock industry. Early results are promising; especially for passive (no battery) UHF-RFID technology where read ranges extend to 20 metres and read rates of 50 tags per second. Due to other industries using this technology, in the millions of units per year, cost is also no longer a factor.
With extended read ranges, high read rates, along with significant reductions in tag and tag reader costs, UHF-RFID may be a viable alternative to LF-RFID in the near future. UHF-RFID advances may also serve individual producers within their operations to better manage inventory and to report movement in a more cost effective and streamlined way.