The move follows a request from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for all 50 US states to create a programme to trace any animal entering interstate commerce, to help prevent any threat to the food chain.
Louisiana’s system is an electronic livestock check-in system, first tested at Dominique’s Auction Stockyard, a Baton Rouge-based auction site. When livestock are dropped off at the auction, the brand or health inspector uses an industrial hand-held computer to record the ear tags, back tag, brand, sex, breed, colour and owner information directly into the device and uploads the information to the official’s laptop computer.
All of the system software and hardware was supplied by Fort Supply Technologies and funding for the programme came from Homeland Security.
The system will also tie into the veterinary programme, Vet-Sentry, which allows private veterinarians to produce a more effective electronic health certificate.