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You are currently viewing Fintechs, regtechs! Animals’ digital identity is your key entry in the real business  
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Biometric identification of animals has a notable economic value, which means new opportunities for fintechs and regtechs. However, everyone knows it: AI industry has limitless potential. At least for the moment. Hence, it is most important to understand why animals’ digital identity and AI are the season’s ‘favorite couple’. 

In fact, when looking back, identity never meant more than a ‘set of components in consequence of which it is established that a person is indeed the one who says or is presumed to be such’. In parallel, societies abandoned progressively the idea of animals as property. They are ‘living beings endowed with sensitivity’. Hence, they acquired an identity: passports, tattoos, ‘unique 9, 10, or 15-digit numbers’ linked to their owner’s data, easily trackable microchips etc. 

This ensures success for businesses like food-tracking blockchain-based startups (see GoGoChicken run by ZhongAn Online). It also provides more efficient ways to identify the origins of food, detect diseases, hold on to transparent B2C relationships or even to find lost pets. 

A critical regard on EU’s lack of progress 

It’s unfortunate to see that sometimes EU forgets to focus on more up-to-date procedures and remains sympathetic to ‘primitive’ regulations. Traditionally, whether pet owners like it or not, they must follow Regulation’s (EU) No 576/2013 provisions. Thence, pets must be ‘marked by the implantation of a transponder’.

Relying on a radio frequency identification technology (RFID), microchips will allow information transfer over radio waves. The data is ‘registered on a silicon microchip linked to a coiled copper wire antenna’ stored inside of a glass capsule. 

Throughout the time, studies have shown that microchips are crucial in reuniting pets and their owners, providing a long-term safety procedure, adverse reactions being extremely rare. Microchips can only provide an active response when electromagnetic scanners are used. Otherwise, no battery or energy source are employed, nor are transmission or tracking signals. 

Therefore, a Korean society took over the reins and started to generate, since 2018, AI-driven pet IDs for dogs and cats (Petnow). In fact, a dog’s nose represents a unique digital ‘fingerprint’, being comparable to human dermatoglyphic patterns. Face detection, nose recognition and sustainability analysis are completely powered by AI, which allows an ‘automated camera control’ and the ‘acquisition of sharp nose print images’. This is how the first ‘biometric ID for dogs and cats’ and non-invasive method facilitates communication with corresponding owners. EU, the decision lies in your hands! 

Like-wise mechanisms are used by PiP, an open-access facial-recognition algorithm-based technology, allowing pet owners to send out alerts to ‘vet clinics, animal shelters, municipal control agents, and fellow PiP subscribers within a 15-mile radius’. 

In disorder, it is still possible to find an order 

‘Priority to mandatory electronic identifiers for animals’, rulers have said. Citizens must now wait. 38 million dollars are to be invested by New South Wales in a Sheep and Goat eID Infrastructure Rebate Scheme, compulsory starting from January 1, 2025. Knowing that goats have a plant-based regime and farmers actively use them for ‘non-chemical weed control’, it is necessary to provide more responsible biosecurity measures and prevent across-border national illegal mob actions.

JD Digits (subsidiary of JD, China’s largest e-commerce business) put in place a facial-recognition system for cows and pigs. Farmers in Guangxi noticed that it helps determine precise metrics, but also to prevent ‘bully pigs’ from consuming abusively and disproportionately resources from the barnyards. 

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) developed a 3D and 2D image-based database of breeding sows for the purpose of identifying their emotional states. These images are then analyzed in Bristol, using machine learning, so as to anticipate reproduction choices or even abnormal behaviors. The University of Cambridge, in its turn, uses photos in detection of facial cues so as to ensure that a humanly treatment is applied to sheep. 

Another great example are the individual medical records created on the basis of facial-recognition technology. These are ensured by salmon farmers who are trying to fight killer lice. Cainthus startup (Dublin) also received a major investment from Cargill (a private US corporation) and are actually monitoring cows’ health and milk variations, based on ‘food and water intake, heat detection and behavior patterns’. 

Lastly, poachers are a real actual concern. So, the Lion Identification Network of Collaborators (LINC) tried to relinquish traditional methods driven by GPS transmitters because of their expensive costs, short-term batteries and the need of sedatives. With their new database, lions’ visages are analyzed and allow researchers to better understand what impact human expansion has on their environment, as well as where they prey. Elephants are protected from poachers by ‘Google’s Cloud AutoML Vision machine-learning software’, able to send out alerts in case it detects one. 


To sum this consistent pack of information, a few main ideas are to be remembered: 

  • Digital identity is no longer ‘VIP-booked’ for humans
  • Fintechs and regtechs are the main actors able to take action and use mechanisms like machine-learning, cloud open-access databases or blockchain technology so as to provide quality services and make real profit in this field
  • Companies are not the only beneficiaries. Consumers, pet owners and third-party service-providers may develop a trustworthy and transparent relation. 


Roxana Vener

M2 Cyberjustice – Promotion 2023-2024




Lexique des termes juridiques, Dalloz, 2023-2024

Article 515-14 du Code civil

EU Regulation 576/2013

Facts pet microchips



Facial recognition for animals

New South Wales


Biometric identification

A propos de Roxana VENER

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