China Tests RFID System For Tracking Bird Flu - InformationWeek

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11/22/2005
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China Tests RFID System For Tracking Bird Flu

Technology from Smart-tek Solutions is being implemented at a poultry farm in an attempt to help stop the spread of the disease.

China is testing Smart-tek Solutions' RFID monitoring and tracking technologies at a poultry farm in an attempt to prevent the spread of bird flu.

The California-based company announced the development Monday after Chairman and CEO Donald Gee visited with Chinese officials. Gee met with the country's science and technology leaders last Tuesday -- two days before China confirmed its first human death from the avian influenza virus. The country also announced that a second death may have been caused by the virus.

"For the Chinese government, this is an area of such immediate and grave concern in their fight against the spread of the bird flu," Gee said in a prepared statement. "The sheer number of birds, of all species in China, is simply astonishing."

The World Health Organization's leading official in Beijing, Henk Bekedam, has said that outbreaks are more common in autumn and winter.

The Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology has created a team charged with monitoring the flu and is seeking solutions to track poultry and livestock, Gee said. The ministry has the authority to issue a national mandate for the use of RFID at poultry farms, said Goodwin Wang, managing director of SES Investments Ltd. in China.

Gee hopes to leverage Smart-tek's expertise in security, surveillance, and monitoring to help the country contain the virus. The company can tag and count bird, track species, document ownership and log inspection dates, using RFID protocols. And the system can be tailored with end-user defined rules or for specific government requirements.

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