Malaysia has become the first Asian nation to introduce a government-run livestock tracking program based on RFID technology. In the first phase of the program 80,000 head of cattle across the country will receive RFID ear tags.
The program, which is funded by the Veterinary Department of Malaysia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based industries, was instituted to control disease outbreaks among livestock, helping to identify the source of the outbreak and any animals which had been exposed to that source. Each tag will contain an identification code that provides access to data including the bearer’s location, sex, name of breeder, origin of the livestock and dates of movement.
Government officials hope the tracking system will increase the competitiveness of Malaysia’s livestock industry by helping it meet the import regulations of the United States and countries in Europe and the Middle East. The program will also help producers meet the dietary standards of the halal market.
If the initial phase of the program is successful, it will be expanded beyond cattle to include the tracking of other livestock animals such as goats.