Law enforcement officers in Botswana might become efficient in tracing stock theft units if the country and its farmers were to adopt methods of livestock verification via the internet.
The internet could serve as an important tool for traceability of livestock within the country, and could thus serve residents by killing two birds with one stone.
In the first instance, it could reduce the rising number of stock theft in the country while at the same time helping the country meet the continuing demands of the European Union (EU) market.
The proposed solution was brought about by a South African-based company, GMP basic, when it addressed the issue of the importance of livestock traceability at market level at the two-day National meat production workshop held in Kanye this past week.
A representative of the company revealed that movement control traceability of livestock remains one of the most important and highly placed requirements of the EU market when buying meat from local abattoirs.
EU also requires online status verification of lost, slaughtered, quarantined or exported livestock using real time web verification.
GMP, a company that is both independent and central to traceability, uses the “Allflex tamper evident, non re-usable ID tags designed to be used in the GM Basic software for livestock management and associated traceability standards”.
According to Rachelle Cloete, managing member of GMP who attended the workshop, through the GMP Basic patented livestock Identification system, traceability and management software, livestock data can be placed on the central animal health database.
“This has become an International storage area for secure code verification which can be accessed by authorized law enforcement agencies, e.g. Police, to verify if commodities are stolen, counterfeited, parallel imports or being round tripped. This same database can be used for the agricultural verification, recording, tracking and tracing of all movement of livestock, agricultural commodities, DNA info, research data, disease outbreaks and control. In order to protect and trace one’s product, the patent holders have developed a unique visual ear tag with human and machine readable combination on an Allflex, tamper evident, non re-usable ear tag┬álinked to an international central database via internet connectivity,” said Cloete.
She asserted that in this day and age, successful livestock farming requires stock traceability from both the farmer and producer.
“For the farmer GMP basic can provide them with information of their livestock from origin to slaughter, while it offers the producer information of the livestock from slaughter to shelf,” said Cloete.