Feeds

What good are computers anyway?

They'd have saved thousands of pigs and cows

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Part 42 In this infrequent, irregular section, we will argue the case for the existence and widespread adoption of computers.
This week: Foot and Mouth disease.

The UK foot and mouth epidemic is getting increasingly out of control. It looks increasingly likely that the elections will have to be postponed after large sections of the countryside have effectively been closed down. The number of animals needed to be culled stands at nearly half a million and some predictions say that half the UK's livestock will ultimately have to be destroyed.

Had the government and farmers used computers, however, the problem wouldn't be anywhere near as bad.

The rampant spread of the disease has been put down to the extensive, fast-paced criss-crossing of animals in Britain. There have been official statements to say that farmers were doing this to abuse the EU's system of farming grants. Sheep were being bought and moved to a farm in time for administrators to record the number of livestock and reward grants accordingly. Then, as soon as they had gone, the sheep were sold on to another farm the inspectors were due to visit - and so on and so forth.

Had computers been used to track movement of sheep, cows, pigs etc, the government and vets would have been able to follow the spread of the disease far more efficiently. This would have nipped it in the bud earlier and saved hundreds of thousands of animals.

A British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) was set up following the BSE crisis to follow cows' movements but we still have nothing that tracks pigs - the animals that sparked the epidemic. The government has plans for following sheep, but they've not been introduced.

Also, the existing BCMS system uses snail mail to send information, causing week-long delays. Using computers, email would be available and would make the information accessible in a fraction of the time.

So there you have it. Computers are good for you and the foodchain. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.