New and Emerging Technologies in Animal Identification

The Equine Species Working Group (ESWG) made recommendations in August 2006 to USDA regarding the use of specific injectable radio frequency identification (RFID) for horses in accordance with the National Animal ID System (NAIS).

While International Standards Organization-compliant injectable RFID might be the most cost effective for the masses of equine users, there are more technologies that could come into play. For example, there is an injectable RFID that can read body temperature.

"Body temp is also a requirement of some states on certificates of veterinary inspection," says Kevin Owen, DVM, principle investigator on several clinical trials related to temperature-sensing RFID. "This chip will add value for many industry segments."

Owen said the temperature of a horse can be taken as often as needed without the wait required for a rectal thermometer.

Clinical trials related to the body temperature chip have been underway at Texas A&M University, the University of Kentucky, the University of California, Davis, and Weatherbys Jockey Club in the United Kingdom.

For more information and results of the clinical trials, visit

About the Author

J. Amelita Facchiano

J. Amelita Facchiano has a passion for equine health, welfare, and identification. She chairs the U.S. Animal Health Association Animal Welfare Committee, and she serves on infectious diseases and ID committees for USAHA, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and National Institute of Animal Agriculture. In addition, Facchiano chairs the Equine Species Working Group ID committee. She also wrote Horse Theft Prevention Handbook, available at

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