The increased sales are generally due to a greater awareness of the value that electronic tags (e-tags) provide for livestock traceability, which is fueled in part by the federal government-sponsored National Animal Identification System, said president and CEO Kevin N. McGrath. McGrath noted that while the national system is not due to be fully implemented until 2009, cattle ranchers are beginning to make the move toward electronic tagging, which enables beef purchasers to know where the cattle have been throughout their lives.
"We are seeing an evolution in the cattle ranching industry, particularly among the sophisticated, large cattle buyers, toward electronic tagging," McGrath said. "The full adoption of the NAIS program is still in the future, but beef producers and the general public are much more aware today of the importance of traceability, particularly given the issues surrounding Mad Cow Disease and other potential animal health issues, such as Hoof and Mouth Disease. We believe this general awareness is a trend that is here to stay."
The sales increases are generally coming from Digital Angel's larger U.S. and Canadian distributors, who have traditionally been leaders in driving the adoption of advances in cattle tagging in the industry, McGrath added. Canada is also working toward implementing a national livestock identification system and is further along in the process than the U.S.
McGrath also noted that sales of visual tags, another key element in Digital Angel's livestock tagging business, remain strong along with the increase in electronic tag sales. Many ranchers have both tags on their cattle, he said.
Digital Angel also recently announced that it had begun selling electronic livestock tags in Brazil, the largest beef exporting country in the world and home to nearly 200 million cattle. Digital Angel currently has a livestock tag sales presence in six Latin American countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Uruguay.
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 of 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.