A recent Cow commenter, Nancy, from Sweden, tells us that ShooTag is now on sale in her country. ((And TCA saved her some money! Like any good sensible person she did some research before she forked out.)) A quick lookup verifies that yes, the ShooTaggers are making inroads into Europe with the same unfounded claims of efficacy for their product as they’ve used elsewhere. Clearly, the critical faculties of the world are in dire trouble. I even turned up this link (page has been redacted by ShooTag revisionists) which trumpets that the Finnish Olympic Team ‘is now using shoo!TAG products for protection against mosquitos !!!’ I fervently hope that this is an idle boast from the sales agent and that the Finnish Olympic Team is not so stupid as to endorse this silly item.

My friends over at the JREF have pointed out, though, that Europe might not be the virgin territory that the ShooTaggers perhaps expect. Yes folks, Europe has their own flavour of pet wootag and it’s called The Anibio Tic-Clip®.

Anibio appears to be a German company but handily, they do have a link to a pdf in English on their site which ‘explains’ how Tic-Clip works:

Ready-to-use tic-clip tags are carrying a specially charged layer of highly radiating, bioenergetic with a very high storage capacity. (Bioenergetic = dextropolarised electromagnetic energy). This creates a special oscillation-field around the tag and thus around the animal. Tics and fleas will not react to the animal anymore.

Whoa! Dextropolarised! Now there’s a word you don’t hear every day. You can look it up if you want – I did – but really, it’s one more instance of a new contextually-meaningless woo buzz word like ‘quantum’ or ‘magnetic’ and I won’t labour the point here. You can already tell that this ‘scientific’ explanation is just another load of baloney in the same vein as the ShooTag nonsense. And this one works without a clumsy magnetic strip! ShooTag! Your technology is so-o-o-o yesterday!

The pdf also urges the visitor to read this important information: ((We assume it’s important because the exhortation has lots of exclamation marks.))

This product was developed after many years of research together with the Germany based company Hess & Volk GmbH and has archived spectacular success in tic and flea prevention all over Europe. Many successful breeders are using it. Similar to holistic approaches you are unable to see or feel ((…or, in fact, determine any effect of…)) the Bioernergetic potential, but the positive results over the last couple of years are proving the strength of this toxin-free solution.

If you thought that the highlighted and underlined areas might prove to be a link to Messrs Hess & Volk’s ‘archive of spectacular success in tick and flea prevention’, I fear you will be bitterly disappointed. That would be altogether far too convenient. In fact, searching on Hess & Volk turns up lots of links pointing back to Anibio, but not much else. Now where oh where might we have seen that kind of behaviour before?

Elsewhere, an American distributor of Tic-Clip has some more enlightenment for us:

The mechanism of the Tic-Clip’s action is a bit abstract when compared with the traditional insect repellents, but this product is the result of many years of research and delivers results that dispel skepticism. Holistic products that work similarly with bioenergetic fields, like flower essences and homeopathic remedies, still lie outside the mainstream, but devoted users will tell you that the results can be truly amazing, even without their really understanding exactly how they work.

Hahahaha! The mechanism is a bit ‘abstract’? Judging by the rest of the paragraph, I think the phrase they’re looking for might be ‘The mechanism is a big steaming heap of claptrap’.

Still, maybe something’s being lost in interpretation here? Let’s go to the original German Anibio site with our friend the Babelfish and get it straight from the mund des pferdes.

Oooh. There’s a graph. That’s scientific. It’s supposed to be showing us how the Tic-Clip’s effectiveness works over time. With an efficacy of 2 years at a price of €24.90 (US$36.39) it’s MUCH better value than ShooTag’s measly 4 months for US$39.95! What does Babelfish tell us that the manufacturer is offering for that money:

Ready for use TIC tie-clip supporter contains an bioenergetic load, a special layer with high radiation potential and has a high storage capacity. In the surrounding field of the supporter, and thus in the environment of the animal (independent of its size and kind of skin), develops then a special oscillation field, which protects now dogs and cats against Zecken and fleas. The TIC tie-clip supporter is fastened with the attached rings to collar or table-ware (material plays thereby no role). On the time, on which a ring is drawn by the supporter, the TIC tie-clip up to 2 works years

OK… that’s making about as much sense as anything else we’ve read I guess. Once the Tic-Clip is properly fastened to the table-ware, it does seem to offer everything that ShooTag does at least. The Tic-Clip appears to be more robust too: the site has some caveats on effectiveness, but they don’t include the lengthy excuses that ShooTag provides for conditions under which their product might not work.

So the Tetherd Cow Ahead shoppers’ advice is: If you’re on the lookout for a completely useless product that does absolutely nothing in the way of keeping insect pests off your pets, there’s no contest – you get hugely better value for money by wasting your cash on Anibio Tic-Clip® than you do on Energetic Solutions Shoo!TAG™ ((I really wonder what the ShooTag people make of something like this. Do they scoff at the opposition: ‘That’s SO far-fetched! Look at the dumb claims they’re making! That will never work!’, or do they gaze on in envy: ‘How are they doing this without a magnetic stripe? How the hell are they achieving a 2 year efficacy? Can we steal their technology?’. My brain does little flip-flops when I try to imagine how these people think.))