Cattle Passport System gives confidence to consumers of Manx Beef
February 2013, by Joanne Pontee
A system developed by PDMS is helping provide reassurance to consumers of Manx beef that it is actually genuine beef they are consuming!
In the Isle of Man, farmers have to adhere to strict rules to ensure full traceability. BITS (The Bovine Information and Tracking System), developed by PDMS for the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, ensures that each calf is issued with it's own passport containing a unique number that stays with the animal right up to the butcher receiving it as a carcase. The system generates a unique six digit number which is printed on to ear tags and then inserted into the cows ears shortly after they are born. Every movement of the animal, for example if it was sold on to another farm, is noted in the passport.
The system was originally created to provide a safeguard in the event of an outbreak of a disease (such as Foot and Mouth which blighted the UK in 2007), so that every movement of an animal could be easily and quickly traced. However, in light of the current horse meat scandal, the system helps to give consumers confidence that Manx Beef is really what it says on the label!
For more information, please see our BITS case study.