RFID in animal identification

RFID animal identification

Introducing RFID into animal identification boosts efficiency by helping to automate farms and facilities. Giving you full control of your livestock, RFID is also very important in cases of disease outbreaks - one of many reasons governments are mandating RFID solutions for livestock.

Key features and benefits

Application benefits

  • Provides proof of origin
  • Age verification and disease control
  • Automates handling at farm and auction house
  • Theft protection
  • Storing and updating vaccination and movement data

Application features

  • Permanent identification
  • Does not require line-of-sight
  • Simultaneous multiple identification
  • Robust and suitable for harsh environments
  • Compliance with government mandates


Animal Identification is a worldwide market, growing 30% every year. Several hundred million animals, such as pigs, sheep, goats, cows, deer, horses, fish and pigeons, are identified through RFID today.

RFID provides a number of benefits over barcodes. It does not require a line-of-sight between the tag and reader, and RFID tags can be read at a distance. Thanks to the anti-collision technology several animals’ tags can be read at the same time. The technology improves automation, logistics and reduces labour costs. Through improved traceability, RFID also increases consumer protection from animal-borne diseases.

Livestock Tracking
RFID can enhance theft protection by giving each animal a unique, encrypted identification. Meat industry stakeholders can improve disease control by storing and updating vaccination and movement data directly into the chip or in the backend system. This traceability ensures consumers healthy and good-tasting meat, with a clear proof of origin.

This visibility and ability to track livestock and their movements allows governments to see what is going on in the supply chain and to tax each player appropriately. In the case of disease outbreaks, it is possible to identify which flocks have been affected; this in turn helps avoid unnecessary waste.

Real-World Examples
Farmers across a leading beef exporting nation in the Americas are using products made with NXP’s HITAG technology to comply with governmental mandates for electronic identification of cattle.

Several suppliers of animal identification devices in UK and Germany are using HITAG-based devices for a new sheep and goat tagging mandate in the EU.

In Germany, a pig breeding farm is enjoying a direct ROI through reduced failure rates and reduced labor costs, thanks to HITAG-powered tags.

A government agency in a leading Asian nation is using the latest, 4th generation HITAG technology to tag pigs, thereby increasing consumer protection from animal-borne diseases. These RFID tags also improve breeding logistics and farm automation.

A sports association in Asia is using the proprietary security features of HITAG chips for time-keeping and fraud prevention in pigeon racing. This electronic method increases accuracy and convenience, ensuring smooth and fair competitions in this ancient, but re-emerging, sport.

NXP's product portfolio is the perfect fit for animal identification

HITAG is a well established brand in the low-frequency (LF) RFID market. The mature LF technology is the technology of choice when it comes to harsh environment applications, where highly reliable, robust and safe data transmission is required.

UCODE passive UHF transponder ICs offer high anti-collision rates and long operating distances, and can help protect your brand. Ideal for supply chain management and logistics applications requiring high speed, long range operation.


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