Farmers are to make unexpected use of WAP phones, employing them to help government officials ensure the safety of British beef.
A new WAP service to be launched by agricultural Web site Braidgrove.com in the coming weeks will allow livestock traders to accurately map the location of beef across the country.
The UK government established the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) in September 1998 to trace the sale of cattle around the UK in response to the BSE health scare. Under it farmers are required to inform officials using specially designed postcards whenever a cow or calf is born, dies or is imported or exported.
Braidgrove.com already offers a service called Elite Traceability giving farmers the option to carry out this registration process online, and it is hoped the new WAP service will further speed up the process. Information is validated and added to the Elite Traceability database before being automatically added to BCMS records.
Tracing the movement of livestock across the UK is seen as vital to preventing disease spreading within the population. It is considered crucial to maintaining confidence in British meat products both here and abroad.
Braidgrove.com believes its WAP service will fulfil an important role in protecting the livelihood of farmers. "It's been launched to make it easier for farmers to keep up with their paperwork using the latest technology," says a spokesman. "Most farmers lives are on the move these days. They don't have a lot of time to spend in the office."
The new cow-tracing WAP service was first demonstrated by Braidgrove.com at this year's Royal Highland Show in Ingliston, Scotland.
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