The United States Food and Drug Administration estimates more than 35 million head of cattle are raised and slaughtered in the United States each year. Beef cattle send to feedlots for approximately 120 days to gain weight prior to slaughter. According to US Department of Agriculture (USDA), placements in feedlots in July 2006, totaled 1.96 million, 17 percent increase from July 2005, and 14 percent above 2004. During July 2006, placement of cattle and calves in feedlots weighted less than 600 pounds were 570,000 head, 600 to 699 pounds were 403,000 head, 700 to 799 pounds were 490,000 head and 800 pound and greater were 500,000 head. When a cow or calve gets sick, remains longer at a feedlot, until it regains weight. Some experts estimated that two or three percent of beef cattle are sick at any given time. Identifying a sick animal is the responsibility of cowhands that ride every day, through feed pens. If an animals is identified, by a runny nose or watery eyes, would be removed from the herd and taken to a hospital pen to be given medication and reduced amount of food, until the animal is restored to health. One of the major health concerns related to cattle is preventing or diagnosing immediately mad cow disease or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), a slowly progressive, degenerative fatal disease, affecting the central nervous system of adult cattle. The United States Department of Agriculture immediately requires the cow’s meat not enter the food supply and / or traced from the marketplace. Eating meat from a BSE – infected beef, a person is at high risk to get human form of BSE called Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD), which invariably is a fatal brain disorder.
In 2003, exports of American beef worth $3.9 billion subsequently, Japan worth is $1.4 billion. Worldwide the United States exports beef to 69 countries, not including Japan. Greatest concern of beef industry, identify as soon as possible a cow identified with mad cow disease and quickly identify any animals that are sick, which need to be destroyed or provide treatment. A new technology is available to identify sick animals sooner then previously possible, and knowing their location.
In 2003, TeKVet (formerly COLT Technologies), LLC was formed through a privately held Utah – based developer and manufacturer of agricultural technologies. The company object, develop for the livestock industry, a wireless technology that would lower production costs, increase profits and improve product safety. TekVet created a wireless ear tag (Similar to tags used by beef producers, ranchers and dairy farmers.), the TekVet SmartSensor(TM), contains a digital thermometer and computer chip that livestock managers can continually monitor their animals. The information gathered includes a digital core temperature (Cattle body temperature safely vary: From 99.5 – 103.5 degrees Fahrenheit.), determines which animals might be getting sick (Flexible thermometer is inserted into the ear canal. It’s plastic housing offers durability and made waterproof.) thus preventing contamination of other animals. According to DeeVon Bailey, a USU professor of agricultural economics stated (Internet IPCommunications.com Article dated July 10, 2006: “Ear sensor tracks health of cattle): “Core body temperature is the best indicator of health in most large animals.” Also, information provides animal’s location. The information transmitted by a sensor: The identification number and core temperature data, a computer receives (Keeping track of historical information.) for each animal within a range every hour. Each transmission has a range of 300 to 500 feet (Within the 418Mhz range). The Federal Communication Commission approved the data transmission for TekVet system. The data collected can be used for trend analysis to increase herd productivity, reduce overall death toll and upload to the TekVet SmartNework Operation Center(TM), where the data is compiled and made available (Utilizing SmartManagement software) for accessing by producers via the Internet. Detecting illnesses more quickly helps producers use fewer antibiotics and reduces consumers concern regarding the use of antibiotics in cattle.
In July 2006, TekVet announced outfitted a more rugged design and longer lasting battery, specifically designed for multiple use applications over a two – year period. The cost per unit is $20 each. Each unit is capable of being used for up two years and as many as six different animals, during that time or multiple applications. The amortized cost during the two – period per animal is $3.30 or lower.
In May 2006, TekVet signed deals to begin, deploying the TekVet System to major feedlot operations in Nebraska, Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, and several foreign producers. The company is seeking to partner with several universities and research institutions to explore potential applications of the product. Already, entered into a partnership with Utah State University. Beginning in September 2006, the University will deploy the devices on both dairy and beef cattle. TekVet System signed a five year contract to outsource manufacturing to Nationwide Electronics Incorporated, a Florida based company, produce more than five million sensors during the first six months of the agreement. Also, TekVet initiated a grant program, providing free TekVet Systems to eligible educational and nonprofit institutions.
Future upgrade of TekVet system includes monitoring blood pressure, heart rate and other vital signs. The company is considering advertising TekVet technology labeled in supermarkets. The information made available to benefit consumers includes, identification code on each meat package, allowing the buyer to enter the code online and trace the history of the animal from any particular cut of meat.
Tekvet, LCC appointed Scott Van Orman as director of Japanese operations. The company launched a major marketing and advertising campaign to educate Japanese consumers the benefits of beef, providing a method for tracking, tracing and monitoring the health of cattle, by its TakVet System. Considering the concerns the Japanese people have preventing and prohibiting any mad cow products entering into their food chain.
For more information on TekVet Systems, contact: http://www.tek.com/ or call
801 – 335 – 0500