Thanks for all the suggestions for my 'problem'. In truth I'm new to
STATA, although I have used SAS previously and have general
programming experience. My main concern was probably one of
aesthetics, i.e. wanting to limit the number of variables (the
suggestions by Maarten and Nick would generate
3*number_of_measurements). I guess that this isn't really a problem
apart from me being prissy, however I also need to flag the
measurements, e.g. "+!" meaning that the animal was sacrificed on the
previous day, "+" meaning that the animal died 'by it self' etc. At
the risk of being ungrateful, I think that I'm going to try my own
way (and probably fail miserably) - the STATA built-in regexp
capabilities should make it easier.....
Thanks also to Svend author of the University of Aarhus STATA-bible,
which I often refer to, and to the suggestion by Kit, which I fear is
far beyond my (current) level of expertise.