A device being marketed by Optibrand in Fort Collins could be the future for identifying livestock.
Ranchers have begun using a small, hand-held computer called an OptiReader to take retinal images of their cattle. The information
then is stored in a database with details such as the animal's
weight or genetics.
The device originally was developed by Colorado State University professors as an alternative to hot-iron branding.
The Denver-based Maverick Beef Ranch is the first American commercial operation to use the device.
Ranch president Rex Moore says the 15-hundred dollar cost of the OptiReader and computer software is reasonable for his operation.
Scans will average about three dollars per animal.