Digital Angel to Introduce Implantable RFID Chip for Avian Flu Detection

SO. ST. PAUL, Minn., /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Digital Angel Corp. will introduce its patented Bio-Thermo(TM) (temperature-sensing) implantable RFID microchip and related identity system to international poultry/bird markets with the initial geographic emphasis in Asia. The comprehensive identity system includes the implantable Bio-Thermo microchip and related identity and temperature-sensing scanners that allow early identification of temperature increases in individual birds which may permit rapid identification and control of an outbreak of bird flu or other avian diseases.

Until now the Company has focused its implantable RFID temperature sensing system on the companion pet and equine marketplace. The system is in testing phases for other livestock such as cattle and swine. "As disease and bio-terrorism increasingly threaten the global food chain and the health of humans and livestock, the Company has targeted new applications in this area," said Kevin McGrath, President and CEO of Digital Angel. He also noted that the Company's identity microchips have already been used in avian identification applications.

"Just as we made our identification products available to Gulf Coast communities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we believe that our proprietary technology should be made available to threatened countries and researchers working to control the spread of avian flu," said McGrath. "We have had 200,000 bio-thermo chips manufactured for this and companion pet applications and we are immediately prepared to work with research institutions and government entities on any further research necessary to control avian flu."

"Our decision to target the poultry markets is an extension of the success we've had in implantable microchips in Asia and elsewhere. Clearly we have sold more implantable microchips for animals than anyone in the world," McGrath said. "As the only provider of temperature sensing RFID microchips in the world for livestock, the detection of elevated temperatures in avian populations represents a new yet natural application of our technology. Since early detection of temperature increases could be important to identifying and controlling bird flu outbreaks, our Bio-Thermo identity system may prove instrumental in dealing with the disease in a cost effective manner within the confines of a poultry farm."

McGrath said Leo Ortenblad, Managing Director of Digital Angel's International Animal Applications sales activities, will lead the initiative.

"Leo is an eight year veteran of Digital Angel and, because he has broad experience in Asia and other international markets, he is ideally suited to leading this effort," McGrath said.

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