Source verification of animals has been a concern in the livestock industry for several decades. Recently, however, it has become an important global issue, attracting the attention of governments and regulatory agencies, food safety agencies, retailers and consumers. Recent outbreaks and publicity, particularly surrounding BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy), have generated intense interest in secure source verification methods. Traceback of animals to farms of origin, tracking the movement of animals from farms to markets and abattoirs, and control of animal movement within and between countries are critical to animal disease control. Reliable, secure identification and source verification systems clearly make quarantine and containment of animal disease possible.

Demand for secure source verification systems will continue as consumers, retailers, vertically integrated programs and governments expect dramatic improvements in food safety, animal welfare, environmental protections and health management.

Secure identification and source verification are important not only for disease control programs, but also for effective overall livestock management programs.

Optibrand's Secure Source Verification™ Solutions provide critical information in efforts to:

Assure food safety;
Provide high quality brand name retail meat products;
Support business-to-business transactions involving livestock;
Support quality assurance claims (e.g., meat is from animals that have never received hormones or antibiotic growth promotants);
Cost-effectively manage businesses all along the production chain; and
Prevent fraud in animal subsidy programs.

 The many and differing needs and issues arising from industry, governments and regulatory agencies, producers, and retail establishments require that any successful solution must meet several stringent criteria.

The solution must be based on a unique biometric feature - like a human fingerprint;
Acquisition of the biometric information must be rapid, inexpensive, accurate, not labor intensive and amenable to use by non-skilled workers;
The solution must include information on location as well as identity;
The solution must be tamper-proof;
The method must be humane and, ideally, non-invasive; and
Data must be easily and rapidly transmitted, stored and retrieved.