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News

HD.Tag Approval For Use In the US and Internationally

Digital Angel : 04 August, 2010  (New Product)
USDA approvals enables the HD.Tag from Digital Angel to be used in the US for tracking and identifying cattle
Digital Angel has announced that the Destron Fearing HD.Tag, a line of electronic identification tags using HDX technology, has been approved by the USDA. The technology is also ISO approved and compatible for international use.

HDX or "Half Duplex" technology like FDX or "Full Duplex" technology is a passive RFID electronic identification system. HDX differs from FDX in the way the tag interacts with its reader. HDX uses shorter term signals, while FDX uses a continual signal to transfer data from tag to reader. When applied to the livestock industry both technologies have demonstrated equivalent performance when properly used with ISO approved readers. In some cases, operations have older, less efficient readers that only read a HDX signal. By introducing the HD.Tag, Destron Fearing now provides the market with a second source for HDX technology offering producers a choice, while not having to switch out their current reader infrastructure.

"We estimate that about 50% of the world cattle market using electronic identification tags is using HDX technology. With approval from the USDA, we are now able to compete in new markets, and offer customers a second source for HDX technology," said Dan Ellsworth, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "For example, USDA approval will allow us to enter the Michigan market, where an official state program requires all livestock to be identified with a USDA approved electronic identification tag. ISO compatibility also opens doors in the international markets including new markets like Australia and Spain."

Destron Fearing introduced its HD tags earlier this year to complement its full line of FDX products. The recent approval from the USDA, allows Destron Fearing to offer an alternative to the market, which had been exclusively supplied by Allflex, a French animal identification company.

"We are excited to offer HDX users a choice. Our plan is to offer HDX technology at FDX pricing, which we think the market will welcome and appreciate. We also see an opportunity to improve delivery time and service to customers using HDX tags from the other manufacture," Ellsworth added.

When applied to animal identification both HDX and FDX are reliable technologies with similar functionality. There are some applications and environments where one technology has advantages over the other. Generally, FDX technology tends to be more resistive to environmental noise and can be more robust around metal, while HDX technology is less affected by certain environmental frequencies. Both technologies are beneficial to the user, and perform equally well.

Destron Fearing HD.Tag's are available in 3 different product combinations, and producers can choose the typical RFID HDX button only tag, a Combo Panel Tag (where the RFID HDX button is attached to the panel) or Choice Set offering (a panel tag for the right ear and the RFID HDX button tag for the left).

Approval from the USDA is part of an initiative to increase the United States' disease response capabilities. The 15 digit ID number that is programmed into the Destron Fearing HD.Tag and delivered to the livestock producer is associated with their premises identification number (PIN). The USDA maintains a livestock database and is able to associate that number to an animal and producer. In case of a disease outbreak, the USDA can trace the origins of an animal identified through this process to assist federal and state health officials.
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