As we’ve previously highlighted in past articles, the Ceres Tag smart animal ear tag is an Australian innovation that was released into the market in 2020 and has reduced risk and cost for livestock operators by monitoring movement data of their animals.
Reduction of livestock theft
Ceres Tag continues to innovate and as more tags are purchased and used by different groups, more capabilities and benefits have become apparent during data collection. A report prepared and published by the University of New England’s Centre for Rural Criminology highlights key findings from a study of the application of the Ceres Tag for improving farm security. The study specifically sought to determine the efficacy of this technology to prevent, interrupt and reduce the theft of livestock.
Ceres Tag: An Evaluation for the Prevention, Interruption and Reduction of Livestock examines the problem of theft and the impact of crime on Australian farmers and other rural property owners and also comments on the broader implication for the wider agricultural industry.
The study involved a mock theft trial where data was monitored from 20 tagged sheep as they were moved from farms in Armidale to Tamworth. Using associated data, Dr Kyle Mulrooney and Dr Alistair Harkness and their project team hypothesised that Ceres Tag may combat livestock theft and improve outcomes by offering opportunities for intervention at three key stages: rapid intervention/prevention of livestock theft; tracking stolen livestock; and recovering stolen livestock.
The movement is tracked by low-orbit satellites, which is ideal for regional and remote areas and means tags can transmit data through tree cover. Alongside GPS location data, the tags also monitor ambient temperature and animal activity levels. Alerts notifying a breach of boundary or high activity may indicate livestock are being stolen.
While there are limitations, the real time data and programmed alerts provide farmers with timely notifications which creates an opportunity to respond quickly, significantly reducing delay to then inform police who can react in a timely manner if they believe theft has taken place.
The study concluded that “The widespread application of Ceres Tag could be a significant ‘game changer’ in the livestock theft space and for farm security more broadly”.
In other news, a number of wildlife advocates and researchers abroad have been utilising Ceres Tag to successfully monitor for conservation outcomes. One such group is the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Director of the foundation Julian Fennessy ,PhD, said, “As we support monitoring all four giraffe species across their range in Africa, including individuals translocated to new areas or other regions of political unrest, being able to track giraffe greatly aids the conservation management we can undertake”
Ceres Tag’s products are protected by a number of patents, registered designs and trade marks all over the world, including but not limited to Australia and the United States of America. We continue to assist Ceres Tag with their IP protection strategy and look forward to hearing more success stories from their adoption and application in other countries.
Disclosure Ceres Tag: An Evaluation for the Prevention, Interruption and Reduction of Livestock research was funded by Ceres Tag. The study design, data analysis, and final report preparation was conducted solely by the Centre for Rural Criminology.