Continuous Health Monitoring and Lifetime Tracking of Beef Cattle

Grants and Contracts Details


The U.S. livestock industry is worth an estimated $100 billion, and economic disruption of this industry would have ripple effects throughout related industries (for example, food processing industries, com and soybeans for animal feed, leather, shipping, pharmaceuticals) causing tremendous potential economic devastation. The potential for terrorist organizations to exploit this vulnerability has been well recognized and key steps have been taken to help protect our livestock industries from the potential for terrorist activities. Of primary importance is the implementation of a National Animal Identification System (NAIS). This system is designed to quickly and effectively identify individual animals or groups; the premises where they are located; and the date of entry to that premise to allow for rapid containment and eradication of foreign animal diseases that may be introduced deliberately or accidentally to our livestock. In addition to allowing rapid response to disease threats, this system will provide benefits to animal owners in terms of market access and consumer demand and will help uphold the reputation of the U.S. of having healthy animals and promote continued confidence in agricultural and animal products. Having a working system that allows for trace backs to all premises that had direct contact with an animal with an animal disease within 48 hours of discovery will reduce the financial and social impacts of such a disease. However, trace back of diseased animals is only one component of an integrated system to rapidly identify the presence of disease and to transmit that information in a readily usable form to permit a coordinated, swift response. Ultimately, the coupling of such systems with advanced bio-sensing technologies and state of the art information management packages will allow simultaneous animal health monitoring and tracking. With current technology, the opportunities for sensing physiological indicators of disease are plentiful, and many devices are currently used toward this end in veterinary medicine. However, continuous, remote, health monitoring necessitates the use of devices small enough to be affixed to or implanted in the animal, inexpensive enough to be practical in today's marketplace, and simple enough to integrate with current technologies and management strategies. The most logical first step in this emerging area of bio-sensing is to monitor body temperature through the use of ear-tag mounted sensors. Furthermore, the need exists for an integrated health management system to permit the continuous evaluation of the health status of the livestock population in Kentucky. Presently, the incidence and prevalence of disease in the livestock population can only be assessed anecdotally through consultation among veterinarians, farm owners/managers, and evaluation of cases presented at livestock disease diagnostic centers. Collection of syndromic data and evaluation of risk factors would permit early and direct intervention by veterinarians and farm managers to maintain and restore health in monitored animals.
Effective start/end date9/1/056/30/08


  • Eastern Kentucky University: $694,923.00


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