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How Is RFID Used For Animal Tracking?

rfid for animal tracking

As commerce becomes increasingly global, the task of tracking and managing animals for food products becomes increasingly challenging and more critical.  RFID technology can help one accomplish their animal identification goals whether they are looking to keep tabs on a pet or track countless livestock. By tagging animals using the RFID system, tags can be read to identify each animal’s medical information, pedigree, and owner information. Independent of the field of application and the size of the animal, RFID ear tags in low frequency (LF) or ultra-high frequency (UHF), will provide superior solutions for animal identification.


How do RFID tags on animals work?


The RFID or EID tag is a small button that contains an embedded microchip that is attached to the regular animal tag. Each tag and chip have the same unique 15-digit number- one to use with an electronic reader and one for visual identification. The workers scan the ear tag with a handheld RFID reader that energizes the device and reads the number coded in the microchip. That information is then sent from the reader to a handheld device that holds all the data on each individual animal. With proper placement, the tags should last the animal’s life span as they are durable.


Why use RFID tags on animals?


It is a personal or business decision to tag animals with RFID. To identify each animal, tagging them with RFID can be an important tool. The RFID reader scans the animal during inventory counts, veterinary visits and with the help of software, it uploads significant information on each animal to a database. RFID systems use RFID LF or UHF tags and GPS to track the animal’s movement to monitor heart rates and even identify feeding and travel habits. Not only are livestock and farm animals being tracked using RFID, but also household animals. Veterinarians are pushing for this to create a system to identify lost and found pets. When all household animals are tagged with RFID chips, when they are found, vets can scan their tags to see the owner’s contact information. RFID chips that identify all pets can help reunite lost pets with their owners especially on a nationwide database. Tagging animals using RFID manages exotic and endangered animals on other wildlife habitats or preserves.


Benefits of RFID animal tracking


The tags let farmers do more than just identify individual animals. The tags and accompanying software can store an animal’s entire history including its sex, offspring, weight, birthing time, age, and medical records. With the right data collected, farmers can better manage breeding, milking, feeding, and other activities from birth to slaughter. Other benefits of RFID tags include;

  • Authentication of animals
  • Faster identification of diseased animals
  • Time and labor savings
  • More accurate tracking of animal inventory


RFID use in managing animal diseases


The use of RFID technology in the livestock management industry is expanding. Governments around the world recognize that RFID technology can track the often-rapid spread of animal diseases. Animal disease traceability is essential for managing illnesses in animals used for exhibitions, rodeos, and other recreational events. Using RFID technology helps to safeguard the world’s supply and in case of disease outbreak, the affected livestock is detected, traced, and quarantined.



UHF RFID, LF RFID, and GPS systems are all used in animal management. The specific system selected is dependent on the safety of the animals and the information needed.


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