Home > NLIS tags for cattle - why it’s time to change

NLIS tags for cattle - why it’s time to change

Supplier News

NLIS tags for cattle have had their problems. Amongst other things, tag loss rates are blamed for the poor uptake of on-farm use of NLIS linked management systems and loss of “whole of life” traceability.

Worse still, those producers that rely on NLIS tags for management often have to use an additional visual management tag as a “backup” so data is not lost when an NLIS tag falls out. Tag companies subsequently profit from their product’s failings by being able to sell two tags instead of one.

A common misconception is that the reason some brands of tags stay in while others fall out is their shape. Although tag shape is an easily discernable feature, issues of locking mechanism design, tag plastic type and quality and tag design are overlooked in this argument. Not all red cars go faster.

Datamars (previously Rumitag) sell a range of RFID products across the world including boluses, round tags, triangular tags and implants. The reason the triangular “Tough Tag” was introduced to the Australian market in 2007 is that internally it was found to have higher retention rates than the round NLIS tags Rumitag made with the same locking mechanisms and made of similar materials.

The reason for the better results from the triangular NLIS tags primarily comes down to wound aeration. Having a pivoting triangular flag means the application wound is exposed to more air than the round tag equivalent. It was also found that there may be an anti-snagging benefit from the swivelling triangular design over their round tag.

In 2009, Datamars (Swiss) took over the assets of Rumitag, another 20 year veteran of the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) industry. Both companies have a history in Electronic Identification industry. Datamars is not a plastic moulding company but instead a specialist RFID company.

Recently, the New South Wales Farmers Association (NSWFA), for the first time, entered a supply arrangement with Datamars Australia .

In a multi-tiered agreement, NSWFA members will not only be able to purchase NLIS “Tough Tags” for cattle through the Association but NSWFA will act as a conjute for the flow of information on new product development and trialling for all species, direct with Datamars.

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