Biometrics used in horse transport logistics

With the value of thoroughbred precious sport horses ranging from several thousand to millions of pounds, their security, especially during international journeys as the elite compete in events around the world, is a very serious subject and one that has given ievo Ltd, the Newcastle-based manufacturer of biometric recognition systems, an interesting export application.

The company have supplied their innovative fingerprint readers to Belgian security systems specialist, db Electrics of Antwerp, who designed and provided a dedicated access system to European Horse Services (EHS), the Belgian-based equine logistics experts who now transport some of the world’s most valuable horses to global destinations, including the prestigious intercontinental equestrian event the Longines Masters, based in Paris, LA and Hong Kong.

The planning for EHS’s new headquarters had begun in 2013 with the purpose-built facility opening in June 2016. One of the design’s challenges was to strictly control access to the valuable horses, a challenge exacerbated by the logistical requirements of the 24/7 access required to meet international flight schedules.

Stephen Thompson, export manager of ievo Ltd, explains the challenges the security system had to overcome, “On the one hand, they need constant access by drivers who may well be on their first visit to the facility, whilst on the other they’re trying to provide security for incredibly valuable large animals whose owners demand the very highest standards of care for investments worth millions of pound in some cases.”

“db Electrics specified a Paxton Access control system featuring our ‘ultimate’ biometric fingerprint readers at all entry, exit and other critical points around the facility. The whole system is controlled by a central computer at reception which features an additional fingerprint reader for registering personnel who are new to the facility.”

“EHS have around 25 employees and transport around 3,500 horses annually but the facility is also accessed by veterinary staff, owners, customs officials and transportation drivers. The new system enables EHS to not only control access but also to register these new authorised personnel whilst keeping the facility completely secure from those not authorised. Our fingerprint readers were preferred over other identity systems such as keys, badges swipe cards and PIN’s which can all be lost, stolen or passed on – fingerprints are unique to that person.”

“We’ve worked very closely with Paxton Access on numerous installations – in this particular case, their software integrates the biometric fingerprint readers for access control, fire alarms and security cameras to provide a total solution for EHS to ensure the safety is the major concern for all educational establishment - it’s all about knowing who is on site, when they arrived and left and where they went to, all of which can be accessed in real time.”

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