Source: Digital Angel Press Release
SO. ST. PAUL, MN (Tuesday October 2 2007, 8:30 am) - Digital Angel Corporation (the "Company") (AMEX:DOC), an advanced technology company in the field of rapid and accurate identification, location tracking and condition monitoring of high-value assets, announced today that it has received an order for 630,000 compliant radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags valued at more than $600,000 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The cattle ear tags will be used for USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)/Veterinary Services State-Federal Cooperative Disease control and eradication efforts in targeted, increased-risk geographic locations.
Barry M. Edelstein, interim President and CEO of Digital Angel, said, "This prestigious order from the USDA exemplifies our expertise in providing high-quality products at competitive prices. We were the first animal tag manufacturer to be designated as an Animal Identification (AIN) tag manufacturer by the USDA, which signifies that our tagging system is capable of identifying livestock with the unique, lifetime animal identification number that is being established as a national standard through the NAIS. We are proud that we continue to be a provider of choice for the USDA."
Since 1948 Digital Angel's livestock tags have been utilized by ranchers across the world not only to protect their property from theft or loss, but more recently to control the spread of disease and improve herd management. Following the December 2003 incident of Mad Cow Disease (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy) in the state of Washington, the USDA initiated the development of a national animal identification program for cattle, with a target completion date of 2008-2009. The NAIS, a cooperative program between state and federal governments and the livestock industry to help trace, manage and eradicate animal diseases like Mad Cow Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease, Pseudo-Rabies Disease and Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome in pigs, is being run by APHIS. APHIS launched the voluntary NAIS in 2004 with the premises registration system and is now continuing its advancement by implementing the animal identification component.
Under the NAIS, electronic ID (EID) devices must be approved by USDA. Digital Angel has approval on its EID and transponder devices for livestock. The Company will be submitting its new sheep and goat EID device for approval shortly. Currently the USDA is entering into cooperative agreements to promote premise registrations among producers. To-date approximately 410,000 producer premises are registered. Although it is not mandatory for producers to ID their livestock, USDA is utilizing premise ID and electronic identification for their numerous disease control programs (brucellosis, tuberculosis, psuedorabies, chronic wasting disease, etc.). The first use, which is the subject of the award for the 630,000 EID tags, will be to control and trace brucellosis among cattle.