With the advent of "from field to plate" that consumers of consumables are now demanding of supermarkets, it has become necessary to indicate where food has come from, and keep a close eye on where it goes.
Initially, this started with cows, who are all implanted with RFID chips that allow farmers, abattoirs and butchers keep track of the beef from the day it is born to the day it is eaten. This has led to many a small child choking on the tiny devices whilst eating a hamburger in fast food restaurants. Although the exact cow responsible can be identified by passing the choking child in front of an RFID scanner, this is of little comfort to the parents.
Farmers needed a different approach, and after the disastrous Chicken Passport scheme, where the bird brain Sunday Dinners kept losing their documents, they tried to use biometrics on pigs, however, after being humanely slaughtered, the pigs tended to lack the identifying marks that allowed the biometrics to operate successfully.
"We're running out of options," said Giles Farmer, head of the Farms, Fisheries and Lottery Commission. "We've got one idea left to try with sheep. We are going to paint thick and thin black lines on them."
That's right, lamb will now be baa-coded.