Re: Who pays?
Indeed, they make so little per sheep that they can't afford the time and diesel to go and check that the sheep are still in the fields where they were left. Hence the plaintive notices in local papers that 50 sheep went missing from a specific field 'between May 15 and June 23" or whatever. On top of that there is (or is supposed to be) a huge amount of admin around moving cattle (following the foot & mouth debacles) and it's not as if the legally-mandated electronic eartags+register are cheap either.
Check this out for an example of what your straw-chewing yokel is working with these days - http://www.fearing.co.uk/cattle-sheep-eid-electronic-tags-reader-bundle-deal-4
So if the boffins can somehow deliver networked beast-tracking to the pasture (and ideally through to the abbatoir) it would indeed be a damn sight more useful than the network fridge. Although conceptually if the abbatoirs, meat processors and supermarkets upped their game it might then be possible to track a piece of beef from calving all the way through until you took your chilled lasagna out of it's RFID-tagged packaging - making even the network fridge useful....