Digital Angel’s Destron Fearing Unit Enters into New Distribution Agreement with Countryside Services for UK and Republic of Ireland Sheep and Cattle Markets

Dépèche transmise le 10 novembre 2009 par Business Wire

SO. ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Digital Angel (NASDAQ:DIGA), an advanced technology company in the field of animal identification and emergency identification solutions, announced today that its Destron Fearing unit has appointed Northern Ireland-based Countryside Services Ltd. to market its products across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, pursuant to a three-year, exclusive distribution agreement.

“The robust and technologically advanced Destron Fearing range of ear tags is compatible with applicators already in use on farms across the British Isles,” explained David Mark, Managing Director of Countryside Services. Mark continued, “As EID, or electronic identification, becomes the norm in the EU, this link between Countryside Services and Destron Fearing will give farmers in the UK and Ireland access to technology that saves time and effort in safely reading numbers and keeping accurate, up to date records, vital to both meeting animal health regulations and selecting livestock for more efficient production.”

“We believe that this new partnership with Countryside should give us a leading position in the UK and Ireland,” commented Digital Angel Chief Executive Officer Joseph J. Grillo. “With some 35 million sheep in this region, we are placing special emphasis on this market, and we plan to introduce a new RFID tag with better read-range capability for sheep in the first quarter of 2010. New EU rules for sheep tagging make this an especially attractive new market for Destron Fearing, and we look forward to working with our partners at Countryside to address this opportunity,” he added.

New EU directives for sheep tagging include the following:

  • All sheep born on or after December 31, 2009 must have two identifiers, one electronic, and one non-electronic.
  • Producers will need to keep records for all sheep which are double identified, that is, with both visual and electronic identifiers, including year of birth, date of identification, month and year of death, breed, genotype and individual movements.
  • In 2011 further requirements under the regulation will come into force which will require individual recording of all movement documents, as well as in the producers’ own records.

Countryside, with manufacturing and distribution facilities in Northern Ireland and at recently acquired Countryside Earlsmere of Barnsley, UK, has substantial market share in the UK and Ireland. This farmer-owned operation produces tags for same-day shipping anywhere in the British Isles. In addition to tags and readers for sheep, Countryside will also distribute Destron Fearing’s range of tag and reader products for cattle in the territory, pursuant to the agreement.

Countryside Managing Director David Mark also noted that the current weakness of the British pound against the Euro was a major window of opportunity for Destron Fearing and Countryside Services to build sales in the Irish Republic, which adopted the Euro as its currency in 2002.

About Countryside Services Ltd.

Based in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, Countryside Services Ltd. is a subsidiary of Ulster Farmers' Union and has been established since 1998 to provide a leading range of information, commercial and professional services to the farming and rural community. For further details visit www.countrysideservices.com.

About Digital Angel

Digital Angel (www.digitalangel.com) is an advanced technology company in the field of animal identification and emergency identification solutions. Digital Angel's products are utilized around the world in such applications as pet identification using its patented, FDA-approved implantable microchip; livestock identification and tracking using visual and radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags; and global positioning systems (GPS) search and rescue beacons for use on aircraft, ships and boats, and by adventure enthusiasts.

This press release contains certain “forward-looking” statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). Forward-looking statements included in this press release include, without limitation, those concerning expectations regarding the expected benefits and financial value of the partnership and the manner and implications relating to changes in EU law. These forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current expectations and beliefs and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Additional information about these and other factors that could affect the Company's businesses is set forth in the Company's Form 10-K under the caption "Risk Factors" filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 31, 2009, and subsequent filings with the SEC. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this statement or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.

Business Wire

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