Research: Cold Can Affect RFID Tag Retention

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has mandated the use of RFID for traceability of individual cattle from birth through to slaughter. Several forms of tags have CCIA approval based on the tags’ retention, readability and ability to withstand tampering.

However, a research team working with the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) has found that very cold temperatures can prevent the tag from staying put on cattle’s ears.

According to the results of the test, tags were much weaker than to those inserted at room temperature. Besides, the tags were also more difficult to insert when cold, and broke apart “far more easily, even when back at room temperature”.

The lesson learned, PAMI said, is that it’s best to avoid tagging animals in extremely cold temperatures. Producers, if the job can’t be avoided, should keep both the tag applicator and the tags themselves warm while the tagging is taking place, PAMI recommended.