SO. ST. PAUL, Minn., /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Digital Angel Corp., an advanced technology company in the field of rapid and accurate identification, location tracking, and condition monitoring of high-value assets, announced that the market opportunity for its radio frequency identification (RFID) tags (e.Tags) and scanning systems has grown significantly due to the Canadian government's recent decision to extend a national program through December 2007 for the funding of livestock RFID readers and scanning systems. The government-backed program is part of Food Safety and Quality within Agri-Food Canada to reimburse eligible participants by defraying a part of the cost of RFID equipment used to scan electronically identified animals as they move from farm to market.
Canada is moving toward electronically tracking cattle and livestock. Cattle are identified in a mandatory industry-led program instituted in January 2001. Canada is attempting to revitalize the country's struggling beef industry that had been damaged by its first case of Mad Cow Disease. Digital Angel, a pioneer in animal RFID products, is one of a few companies with electronic RFID ear tags approved for the program after testing by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA).
The government's decision to extend the funding initiative should bolster an already robust electronic cattle-tagging business in Canada, said Digital Angel president and CEO Kevin N. McGrath. The company announced in January that it had delivered more than 265,000 e.Tags to its Canadian distributors during the months of November and December 2005. Digital Angel just received CCIA conditional approval of a new reader and antenna for use in scanning livestock predominantly in an auction-market facility. This new system provides auto-tuning, synchronization, high-speed data transfer, memory backup, portability, and customization of exiting facilities.
A database of Canada's approximately 122,000 cattle producers, which has a total cattle inventory of 14.7 million head of cattle that produce approximately 3.6 million pounds of beef and beef products annually, is already in place.
The full line of Destron Technologies cattle electronic identification products manufactured by Digital Angel were approved by the CCIA. Under the new program, eligible participants are reimbursed up to 50% of the cost of eligible RFID readers, up to $1000 for hand-held models, and $3000 for panel readers.
About Digital Angel Corp.
Digital Angel Corp. develops and deploys sensor and communications technologies that enable rapid and accurate identification, location tracking, and condition monitoring of high-value assets. Applications for the company's products include identification and monitoring of humans, pets, fish, poultry, and livestock through its patented implantable microchips; location tracking and message monitoring of vehicles and aircraft in remote locations through systems that integrate GPS and geosynchronous satellite communications; and monitoring of asset conditions, such as temperature and movement, through advanced miniature sensors.
Digital Angel Corp. is majority-owned by Applied Digital Inc. For more information about Digital Angel, please visit the company's Web site.