Cattle ear tags
JOHN Steinfort is a veterinarian with an inventive mind.
Much of his work has centred on the dairy industry, particularly in developing systems for handling and recovery of "downer" cattle.
But the Warragul vet also saw an opportunity of improving the retention rate of ear tags in cattle, particularly in calves.
The problem he found was the button in most of the electronic tags would get caught in fences and feeders. The tag would then get ripped from the calf's ear.
Dr Steinfort's answer is the EnduroTag.
Its unique feature is a two-prong button rather than the conventional single prong.
The double prong has allowed Dr Steinfort to redesign the face of the cap so that it is less susceptible to snagging.
After developing management tags for cows, Dr Stenifort has now designed a smaller tag suitable for calves and sheep. It includes an electronic tag.
The electronic version is being trialled for registration as a national livestock identification system tag.
Dr Steinfort claims a retention rate of 99.9 per cent for the cattle EnduroTags and 99.75 per cent in sheep.
He said the cap of the sheep tag was also less susceptible to being caught by a shearer's handpiece.
The electronic sheep tags cost $2.50.
In the EnduroTags system, the same applicator can be used on cattle and sheep tags.
Dr Steinfort is hoping the tag will be eligible for the Victorian Government subsidy once it wins NLIS approval.
The government subsidy allows the approved Allflex, Shearwell and Leader tags to sell for 90 cents.