Alberta Age Verification Incentive Program


November 18, 2010

Alberta beef cattle producers are eligible for a full rebate or incentive up to $3 per RFID ear tag. This is part of the Age Verification Incentive Program, where Alberta beef cattle producers are encouraged to age and source verify their cattle.

The program is part of Alberta’s initiative to give beef cattle producers an incentive to age verify and tag their cattle with CCIA approved RFID ear tags.

Important Note: The ear tag rebate and incentive is only valid on CCIA approved RFID ear tags.

Age and source verification is an important part of the Canadian livestock traceability system. The government of Alberta has created the Age Verification Incentive Program; to encourage Alberta beef producers to age verify their livestock. Since the AVIP uses CCIA Approved RFID ear tags, they offer a rebate up to $3.00 per tag.

Participating in the age and source verification adds to the integrity of the CCIA Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS), with an up to date and accurate database of animal identification with age and source verification.

With complete participation of the age and source verification program, the Alberta cattle industry protects itself against the vulnerability of an anAlberta Cattle Industryimal disease outbreak, that can’t be traced back to its origin. Canada and Alberta’s BSE Surveillance Program needs to be able to react quickly in identifying the animals, its movements and source of origin.

There are two ways to receive the discount on the RFID tags in the first year. (2010)

Livestock producers can claim an immediate discount at the point of sale; a form will need to be filled out, which all participating tag dealers have available. A downloadable version is available below. The information the producer will need to provide at the time of purchase is listed below.

A valid CCIA account number

Legal business name

Contact Information
The number of calves has or will age-verify from the calving year being calculated for the incentive-discount and

The number of tags that the producers has already requested or received a reimbursement or discount for under this program.

Example: In 2010, producers will be reporting on the number of calves from their 2009 calving season.

Producers who have already purchased radio frequency identification (RFID) tags between January 2009 and July 2010 are eligible for the incentive rebate. Producers must apply directly to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Fill out the Age-Verification Incentive Program Application and mail it in to the address on the form, remember to have copies of the tag receipts for which the reimbursement is being applied to.

Additional Resources and Links:

Age Verification Incentive Program Application
Alberta Ear Tag Dealers
List of Approved CCIA RFID Ear Tags
Allflex USA Company Profile

Website: Government of Alberta: Agriculture and Rural Development 
Tel: 780-643-1572 Fax: 780-422-3655

Copyright © Livestock-ID


Allflex USA, Inc.: Company Profile


November 04, 2010

Allflex USA, Inc. also simply known as Allflex is a company that manufactures livestock identification products, such as visual ear tags, RFID button ear tags, RFID microchips, RFID readers, and various marking products for the livestock industry.

Allflex is known as a world leader in technology and manufacturing of livestock identification products, for individual animal identification management.

Allflex manufactures a wide range of animal identification products such as visual ear tags, RFID ear tags, and injectable microchips. They also manufactuAllflex-USAre a wide range of RFID readers for animal identification and traceability. Other products in their portfolio for animal identification also include tattoo marking systems. Syringes for bottle feed and vaccines and drenchers for spray-on applications are also produced.

Allflex is one of only a few manufacturers that are approved for official government traceability programs around the world; Countries such as United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom to name a few.

Ear tags and microchips that are official approved 840 tags.

Brief Company Information:

Allflex originally started in New Zealand in 1955, the original name of the company was Delta Plastics. John Burford and Brian Murphy were dairy farmers looking for a durable marking solution for their livestock. The companies strength has always been hands on experience and development of latest technology. 

Additional Resources and links:
Website: Allflex USA 


1-800-989-TAGS (8247)

Email: Lori Braden

USA: Official Approved 840 Ear Tags

Canada: Approved Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tags

Copyright 2010 © Livestock-ID


Canadian Cattle: Angus Cattle Drink Wine


September 03, 2010

Canadian cattle producers in western Canada have a unique way of adding value to their beef. Angus cattle in British Columbia’s Okanagan region are getting a supplement with their feed, which is red wine.

Okanagan is British Columbia’s wine and cattle region for the province. Giving red wine to Angus cattle has added benefits and added value for Angus producers in the wine region.

Angus cattle in British Columbia have the added value of RFID ear tags for traceability, age and source verification, for background and animal movements, and wine for added flavor and texture of the meat.

Angus Cattle with Red Wine Chefs in the Pacific Coast province said the wine additive to the cattle provides a unique beef taste. The idea of giving wine to Angus cattle is the brain child of Janice Ravndahl of Kelowna British Columbia’s Sezmu Meats. Ravndahl claims the beef produced has an enhanced flavor, the marbling is finer and the fat tastes like candy.

Ravandahl thought of the idea of giving wine to cattle, after watching a TV show on beer swilling pigs. Since Okanagan is one of Canada’s premier wine regions, it is the perfect place to get cattle on the bottle, and cost savings of buying direct from wineries.

Some of the added benefits to the producer are cattle which are less tensed and relaxed, produce finer meat, along with the unique test and marbling of the meat.

The cattle get 1 bottle of red wine per day, along with their usual feed. Ravandahl said there is a noticeable difference in the temperament of the cattle, as they are more calm and relaxed in their environment.

To read more about the Angus cattle on red wine, please see the news release:

Canadian Cattle Enjoy Red Wine.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Kansas Animal Traceback System


August 25, 2010


Animal Traceback system in the works was the message from Bill Brown of the Kansas Livestock Association last week, while speaking at the Beef Fest Producers Seminar.

The Animal Traceback system will be voluntary, except for the provision of animal movements, where the identification of livestock will be mandatory under the Animal Disease Traceability framework, which is expected to be implemented in 2013.

Identification for the program will range from orange calfhood vaccination tags to RFID ear tags. Livestock producers will have a choice of livestock tags to choose from, that will be applicable and compliant for both the Animal Traceaback System and Animal Disease Traceability program.

Brown mentioned the program will be state-run, with oversight from USDA. Animal health officials and state veterinarians are working side by side to standardize the traceback systems. Kansas working group consisting of producers, feeders along with other animal interests will provide input on how the program should be structured.

The Kansas Animal Health Department is in the process of implementing an information management system to track livestock, which eight states already have the system in place. The objective of this system is to protect producer confidentiality, which is an industry concern and priority.

As each state creates and implements its own animal traceback system, it must have the ability to link to the USDA Animal Disease Traceability system for the proposed mandatory identification of interstate animal movements.

For the effectiveness of the Animal Disease Traceability system, it is expected that only approved USDA 840 tags would be used. 840 approved tags are country of origin compliant (COOL) which are the visual and RFID ear tags.

Additional Resources:

USDA Approved 840 Tags

How to Improved RFID Tag Retention

USDA: Animal Disease Traceability

Animal Tracking with EID: COOL Animal ID

For more details on the Kansas Animal Traceback System, please visit their website: Kansas Livestock Association

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


USDA: Animal Disease Traceability


August 18, 2010

The USDA will be conducting a series of public meetings to discuss the new Animal Disease Traceability system, which will be replacing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) that was scrapped earlier this year.

The purpose of the meetings is to allow the cattle industry and general public a chance to give their input on the traceability regulation, performance and standards that are currently being developed.

The meeting objective is to review and clarify the current new framework. Discuss the approaching of performance based regulations, deliberate performance standards, and concepts being developed by the regulatory working group. 

The Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) along with a regulatory working group representative will give three presentations.

State Perspective on Animal Disease Traceability:

Share the perspective and usefulness of Animal Disease Traceability state wide and nationally.

Animal Disease Traceability Framework:

Share the new components and concepts of the traceability framework with the livestock industry and general public.

Report of The Regulatory Working Group:

A representative of the regulatory working group will discuss the process involving the new traceability framework and proposed rule being considered.

After the presentations there will be small group sessions with discussions that will be shared with the group as a whole. Meeting participants will be asked to discuss their ideas of USDA and the Traceability Regulatory Working Group regarding the Animal Disease Traceability regulation and performance standards.

Questions will be asked around the following topics:

Feedback on the preliminary traceability performance standards.

Suggestions related to implementing the Animal Disease Traceability framework.

Details and dates of the meetings are available at the USDA website:

Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service

The USDA plans to have the Animal Disease TraceUSDA Animal Disease Traceabilityability system implemented by 2013. 

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


USDA Declared Farmers Market Week


August 02, 2010

This week is declared National Farmers Market week. As officially declared by Thomas Vilsack from the USDA for The week of August 1-7 2010. USDA-Letter

USDA Full listing of Farmers Markets.

This is a great opportunity to discover your local farmers market and support local farmers with the purchase of fresh produce, cheeses, and meats. The farmers market has long been a tradition for many families, as the best source for farm to plate freshness.

The farmers market has always been the best place to buy homemade products like fresh baked bread, choice cuts of fresh meats, sausages, and ready to cook food for your BBQ.

Make it a family day, and visit your local farmers market, treat yourself to the goodness of farm fresh products, and give your local farmers your support.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Approved CSIP RFID Ear Tags


July 22, 2010

The Canadian Sheep Federation announced the Approved CSIP RFID Ear Tags which will be in effect as of January 01, 2013. CSIP tags are to be used with the Canadian Sheep Identification Program.

The Canadian Sheep Federation is moving forward in their current RFID sheep pilot, and progressing well with the implementation of RFID systems, and usability of the technology in place.
With the progress of the Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) RFID Pilot, the CSF has given notice to its members on the new adoption of RFID ear tags for sheep.

UPDATE: in June 2011 the Canadian Sheep Federation extended the deadline for the RFID traceability requirement to January 01, 2013. The discontinued tags are no longer available for purchase, and it is recommended these tags be used immediately if you have them, or to use the new CSIP Approved RFID ear tags, as listed below.  

Approved CSIP RFID Ear Tags:
Effective January 1st, 2013 the Approved CSIP Ear Tags will be the Allflex RFID tag and Shearwell RFID Tag. 

All sheep and goats will need to be tagged with approved CSIP Ear Tags.

Allflex RFID CSIP Tag: Approved Tag

AllflexRFIDButton CSIP

Shearwell RFID CSIP Tag: Approved Tag

Shearwell RFID Tag

CSIP Tags that will be Decommissioned:

Ketchum Kurl Lock #3 (Pink)

Allflex Dangle Tag (Pink)

Allflex Dangle Tag
These tags are no longer official approved CSIP tags, and will no longer be sold after July 01, 2011. The tags will no longer be accepted by the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) as identification tags after Dec 31, 2011.

The Federal government has made a commitment to have a national traceability program in place for sheep and goats by December 31 2011, which will allow the tracing of sheep and goats from point of origin to the consumer.

In order to meet the requirements of the national traceability program, the Canadian Sheep Federation will need to adapt to using RFID tags, which will add integrity to the traceability program. The CSF has looked at all RFID tags available on the market, that would also meet the requirements of the Sheep and Goat industry, which due to size restraints has made an official approval of these tags from Allflex and Shearwell.

The traceability and reliability that RFID provides is essential for the development of the national traceability program, and the Canadian sheep and goat industry. Canadian sheep producers must move forward and increase their livestock production at a cost effective rate, to compete with Australian and New Zealand sheep industry.

At the moment Canadian sheep producers supply an approximate 40% of domestic supply of consumed lamb products. In keeping up with the demand for domestic lambs, producers must also be compliant with current food safety regulations. Australia and New Zealand are currently compliant with all food safety regulations, as RFID traceability of their livestock is already place.

CSIP RFID ear tags will give producers an extra benefit of on farm management, as the need to increase flock size is inevitable in Canada to meet current and future demands, this would have an extra cost in basic identification alone. RFID tags and livestock management software can provide producers, with reliable identification as well as basic record keeping that is quick, efficient, and reliable. 

The benefits of RFID tags in livestock are accurate identification quickly, ability to retrieve animal data, such as birth date, inoculations, inspections, weaning, weight, and so on. This info is quickly retrieved with basic sheep management software. Reporting of animal movements is also done quickly and reliably with an RFID reader, which then sends the tag EID’s to the sheep management software. With the sheep management software you then easily transmit your files of animal movements to the CLTS (Canadian Livestock Tracking System).

RFID readers and software are not needed with the national traceability program, but do give producers an added advantage in sheep management costs.

Additional Resources:

Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) RFID Sheep Pilot

Canadian Lamb Company Initiative: A New Organization 

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Cattle Tracking with EID: COOL Animal ID


July 12, 2010


RFID ear tags track cattle, and give ranchers the information they need to better manage their herd. Ear tag EID (Electronic Identification) gives complete information of the cattle, from point of origin, and when the cattle was born, to vaccinations, and animal movements.

The RFID ear tag alone, does not give this information. The EID tag just holds the actual Identification of the animal, which is a unique identification along with the country code. As an example 840 which is United States we know is the country of origin, so this tag is also COOL (Country of Origin) compliant at the same time.

Here is a full list of USDA Approved Tags, which are also COOL tags.

The rest of the information on cattle comes from the ranchers livestock management software, where all the additional information is stored. This information is not public knowledge, since this is only at the rancher level.

In the video, the rancher is tagging the cattle with an Allflex RFID ear tag. He is tagging the cattle with the Allflex Universal Total Tagger, which is the tag applicator used for all Allflex ear tags. The tag applicator has an EID conversion kit added, so it could tag cattle with Allflex EID tags.

The RFID reader used to read RFID ear tags is the Allflex Yellow Stick, which is an ISO compliant reader for all RFID livestock ear tags. The Allflex stick reader is available with many options, from basic reader with no memory, to stick readers with memory and Bluetooth.

RFID readers are needed to read the tags, and send the tag EID’s to livestock management software, where you could enter all the additional information needed to compete your herd management.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Canadian Lamb Company Initiative: A New Organization


July 07, 2010

The Saskatchewan Sheep Development Board (SSDB) has announced the formation of the Canadian Lamb Company Initiative (CLCI) which is part of the many support changes in place, and to be implemented to support Canadian Sheep Producers.

The CLCI is fully supported by the Government of Canada, with an initial funding of $178,000 to establish itself, to support its objective in building a stronger lamb industry. Part of its multiphase project is to focus on and implement new business models and operations for the industry. The major part if the project will be establishing added value to the chain, for producers, processors, retailers, and distributors.

The newly formed organization will provide lamb producers with financial and market incentives needed in order to expand their operations and make a profit. Funding to start this program is being provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP). 

The CAAP is investing $163 million over five years (2009-2014) as a national initiative for the agriculture industry to adapt to changes and remain competitive in the market place. CAAP funding is for all areas of development including traceability, environment, climate change, diseases, and ongoing areas as needed.

Canadian Lamb Industry Note:

The Consumption of Lamb in Canada has been on a steady rise over the last few years, and research reports give a strong indication, that consumption will continue to rise at a steady and predictable rate over the next few years. The reason for the sudden increase in Lamb consumption in Canada can be attributed to Canada’s diverse population, growing ethnic communities, and healthier eating habits.

Lamb and goat are considered to be the alternative to beef for those who do not consume beef cow products, as they both have the same great protein content, which is highly recommended for good health. Lamb is a more lean and palatable red meat versus beef.

Lamb and Goat products have seen a major increase over the last few years in additional processed products, from cheeses, milk to ground meat, and pate. Canadian food service and retailers have been buying more lamb products to better serve their customers.

Warning Call of the Lamb Industry:

Canadian Lamb producers have been on a steady and rapid decline over the last few years, as a result the primary beneficiaries of the growth in demand for lamb products in the Canadian market are the lamb producers and lamb products marketing organizations in New Zealand and Australia.

Without an increase in the domestic production and marketing of domestic lambs, the Canadian lamb industry is in danger of becoming marginalized. Importers of New Zealand and Australian lamb products are on target to increase their market share from the current level of 60% of the market to over 80% of the Canadian retail and food service markets in the next 3-5 years.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Indiana’s 840 RFID Tag Pilot Program


June 23, 2010

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has announced its 840 RFID Tag Pilot Program, under the pilot program, the BOAH is offering FREE 840 RFID Tags for Hossier cattle producers.

The 840 RFID tags come in lots of 25 pieces; they are the yellow button type electronic tags, which are supplied by Allflex (An Approved USDA Vendor).

The tags used in the voluntary pilot program are for breeding cattle, under the age of 2 years. The free 840 RFID tags are only available to cattle producers. Exempt from the pilot program are feedlots, or breeding cattle that will be shipped out of state.

The objective of the Indiana’s tag pilot program is test usability, reliability, and longevity of the tags that remain in the state of Indiana over a long period of time. Initially this is to test the tag retention of Allflex 840 RFID tags.

You can view our post on tag retention, How To Improve RFID Ear Tag Retention for tagging tips.

An official list of Approved USDA Cattle Ear Tags: 840 Tags has all the approved 840 tags, which are visual tags and RFID tags.

Cattle producers must complete the 840 RFID Tag Request Form to be part of the pilot program. A premise ID is needed in order to participate, so tags can be linked to a specific location, which is the farm of origin.

840 tags can only be used in American born livestock. Under federal law, the removal of tags is unlawful once they have been tagged in livestock, because they are official U.S. Government Identification.

Why Are 840 RFID Tags being used in the pilot?

840 RFID tags provide additional reliability and integrity, because the tags use of electronic identification, as well as visual identification. The RFID tags can be scanned wirelessly with a RFID reader, and then the tag EID’s can be downloaded to livestock management software. Another reason to use RFID tags is to eliminate human error of reading tags, as well as the speed at which livestock can be identified.

The 840 RFID tags are also COOL (Country of Origin) compliant, which is another advantage of the tags.

Only the 840 RFID tags are available free with the pilot, RFID readers, software is not included, and is at the cost of the producers. RFID readers, and livestock software is not mandatory under the pilot, so producers can still apply for the free 840 tags, without an out of pocket expense.

For additional information on Indiana’s 840 RFID Tag Pilot, please visit their website. Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH)

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


How to Improve RFID Ear Tag Retention


June 17, 2010

RFID ear tag retention is one of the most important physical elements of livestock ear tags. With most livestock agencies such as The USDA, and the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) retention is high priority on the scale for approving livestock ear tags, after material safety. This is the reason why only a few tag manufacturers are approved for use in livestock, versus the many other manufacturers on the market.

To improve tag retention there is some basic tag maintenance that should be performed before tagging livestock, such as cattle, bison, elk, deer, sheep, goats, and pigs.

The most important tip, is to use the correct tag applicator with the ear tags you are using, also you should be using the most current tag applicator, if the manufacturer had designed a newer version of the applicator, then you should be using the current version.

If the applicator allows you to change the tips, then this should be inspected and tips changed frequently. Worn out or bent tips in the applicator, makes it difficult to tag livestock correctly and efficiently, and will decrease tag retention.

If tagging livestock with an applicator and you feel movement as you apply the tag to the ear, chances are retention will not be good, and that tag will eventually will get removed from the ear.

Additional Tips to Improve RFID Tag Retention:



Make sure you are tagging the RFID ear tag in the correct location, as seen above.
Make sure you are using the correct applicator with the ear tag.
Make sure you are using the correct backing studs that came with the RFID ear tag


Following these tips, will improve RFID tag retention, these are steps that are often over looked.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Saskatchewan Livestock RFID Rebate Program


June 14, 2010

The Saskatchewan Voluntary Livestock Traceability Rebate program started in October 2009. Under this RFID rebate program, Canadian cattle producers in Saskatchewan are eligible for a rebate up to 70% on all their expenses to set up their herd for RFID traceability, within the Canadian Livestock Tracking System.

This is an initiative by Saskatchewan to promote and enhance all livestock premises within the province to register their premises, and have a more proactive approach to RFID livestock traceability. The program is a voluntary livestock traceability program, participation in the program is not mandatory, although tagging their livestock with CCIA approved RFID tags, is mandatory for animal movements.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is the basis of the Canadian Livestock Tracking System.

With the voluntary livestock traceability rebate, Saskatchewan livestock producers have the chance to benefit with RFD technology. With this opportunity for a rebate, all livestock producers, auction marts, feedlots, backgrounders, veterinarian clinics, meat processors, fairs, exhibits, and managed community pastures are eligible for rebates up to 70% on all hardware, software, installation, and training that is involved in implementing a full RFID system on their premise.

Livestock producers, such as cattle, bison, sheep, pig, goat, and deer are eligible for a rebate of 70% up to the total amount of $50,000 per premise location. If a producer owns more than one premise, even with same registration name, each of the premises is eligible for the same rebate.

Auction marts, are eligible for the same rebate of 70% up to the total of $100,000 per premise location. For auction marts, there is no limit on the number of RFID readers per location, as long as it is within the $100,000 limit.

The following is a breakdown of the hardware, software, installation, and training services that are allowed with the RFID rebate program. All RFID readers, which are handhelds or fixed panel readers must be new, they can be purchased or leased.

Livestock Traceability software has a maximum rebate of $3,000. Software includes all cattle management software, from the simplest cattle management, to network based systems, with multiple user access. (We will go into details on the available cattle management software’s on the market, with reviews shortly.)

Ultra-rugged computers have a maximum rebate of $4,200. Computers should have a rating of IP-67, which means the computers are water proof, dust proof, and indestructible. Basically they are computers that can be used outdoors, and in extreme rough environments, such as conditions in a barn or feedlot. These computers or rugged laptops are like the Panasonic Tough Book series computers.

RFID Readers come in a wide variety of options, based on the user’s requirements. (We will provide a list shortly of all available RFID readers, and explain in detail the options on each style of reader.) This will be the hardest part of your traceability hardware, as there are so many options out there, from simple RFID stick readers, which just read the tag and transmit the tag EID to the software, to more sophisticated RFID readers, that can perform many options in the field.

RFID readers can be handheld readers, much like an Allflex stick reader, and they can also be a wand or paddle styled reader, like Destron.

Panel readers or fixed readers, are more suitable for feedlots, auction marts, and premise locations with high volume of traffic. Panel readers, will enable you to scan or read tagged cattle at a fast rate, much like when cattle go through a raceway or alleyway as they enter either the feedlot, auction mart, or tagging station.

Only CCIA Approved Readers are eligible for the RFID rebates. CCIA Approved RFID Tags are not included in the Voluntary Livestock Traceability Rebate.

More information on the RFID rebate program can be found at the Saskatchewan Voluntary Livestock Traceability Rebate website.

Below are the actual forms for the livestock traceability rebates.

FORM A: Rebate Application for General Applicants. (Producers)

FORM B: Facility Modification Claim for General Applicants. (Producers)

FORM A: Rebate Application for Auction Marts Only.

FORM B: Facility Modification for Auction Marts Only.

If you need additional information, and or need some advise on readers, the process, or general questions on the filing of the forms, you may contact myself by email (Listed on Contact Me on the blog) or by contacting the Saskatchewan Voluntary Livestock Traceability Rebate at 1-877-874-5365.


Animal Identification Methods: Livestock Ear Tags


June 07, 2010

Cattle Identification simply means being able to identify a specific cattle within the herd. In its simplest form, it is a means of animal identification for the rancher or cattle producer. Typically this is done with a visual cattle ear tag, tags like Y-tex All American tags, Allflex Ultra Maxi tags, Destron visual tags, and so on.

Usually the cattle producer assigns a number to the tag, either with a scrapie or equivalent permanent marker. This is internal cattle identification for ranch management purposes. The visual tags can also be pre printed from the supplier, and with the logo of the ranch. The cattle rancher usually provides the animal management number sequence and or logos to the tag distributor, which does the printing on the visual tags.

This is a form of Animal Identification, but as an internal livestock management system for herd management, which is usually just for the cattle producer.

An additional cattle ear tag is needed which would then comply with local or state by laws for livestock identification. This would have to be an official 840 ear tag approved by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). The official 840 ear tags come in either Visual or panel tags and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) button tags.

The 840 tags have the US shield logo and stamped “UNLAWFUL TO REMOVE”. The 840 on the tags indicate it is livestock from the US, the number of 840 on the international level is the number assigned to the United States for all livestock from Cattle, Sheep, Goat, Pigs, Llama, as well as wildlife animals like Deer and Elk.

Since all USDA approved tags bear the 840 number on them, whether they are visual or RFID ear tags, they are also compliant with COOL (Country of Origin Label), which is mandatory in the United States.

Livestock producers must sign up and register their premises for a premises identification number. The Premises ID is then associated with the approved 840 tags, which is actually the simplest form of animal identification. The ear tag distributor must assign the premises id with the 840 tags, and then register the tag info in a tag database, to indicate that (tags 840.121345678910 was associated with the Premises ID # ABC123).

Livestock ear tags come in different shapes, forms, sizes and colors for all livestock. Livestock ear tags for sheep and goats are usually smaller than the cattle ear tag.

This is the official list of USDA Approved 840 Cattle Tags.

This is list official for Canada Approved Canadian Cattle Ear Tags.

This would be the basic form of Animal Identification in Livestock on all farms in the US.


Canada Ends Bar Coded Livestock Ear Tags


June 04, 2010

Reminder to all Canadian cattle producers, Effective July, 1 2010 all cattle and bison must be tagged with the CCIA Approved RFID Ear Tags. Bar coded dangle tags are not to be used any longer. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will be enforcing the new regulations, which had been in effect since January 2009.

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) had made the official release to the public on May, 31 2010. This applies to Cattle and Bison in Canada, once they leave their farm of origin. All livestock must be tagged with the approved RFID tag, before leaving the premises of the farm.

Canadian cattle producers, had been given a grace period, so they could use their current bar coded livestock ear tags, but now the official notice had been given.

Here is a full list of the CCIA Approved RFID Ear Tags, which is also available at the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency website (

With the full support of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association, Canada’s livestock industry needs Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), in order to have a fully effective traceability system.

Additional benefits of RFID technology, is the speed and accuracy of identification, which ultimately affects the bottom line of the beef cattle industry, making Canadian cattle more competitive on the world market.

Effective July, 1 2010, all cattle producers must use the mandatory approved RFID ear tags. Bar coded livestock ear tags are no longer to be used.


Approved USDA Cattle Ear Tags: 840 Tags


April 28, 2010

Approved USDA Cattle Ear Tags: Official 840 Tags.

As of September 2009 this is the official list of Visual and RFID Cattle ear tags, also known as AIN (Animal Identification Number) tags, all approved USDA cattle ear tags.

These are official 840 tags. Any tag that is not an official 840 tag is not an approved cattle ear tag.

840 is a reference to the country of origin of the tagged animal, in this case 840 is the official number for United States, as 124 is official number for Canada, 826 for Great Britain, and so on.

Every country has an official number for the tag, which must be a 15 digit animal id number, and beginning with the 3 digit country code. 840.123456789100

The USDA AIN tags are for one-time use only, and are tamper evident. All tags are designed with the 15 digit AIN number and beginning with the country code of 840. The tags also have the US shield logo, and text “UNLAWFUL TO REMOVE”.

The official 840 USDA Approved Cattle tags come in three main forms.

Visual Tag: Basic visual cattle ear tag with the AIN number.

RFID Tag: Cattle RFID ear tag with the AIN number on the transponder, which is read by an RFID reader.

Visual and RFID Tag: Both the visual and RFID cattle ear tag are the same number.

There are also injectable transponders which are geared more to Equine, which also must have the AIN on the transponder.

As in Canada, you must have a Premises Identification Number (PIN) in order to purchase the official 840 cattle ear tags. All AIN tags are associated with the premises identification number.

Below are the approved USDA Cattle Ear tags, which are official 840 tags.

Allflex 840 Visual Tags:

Tag Name Tag Type Picture Species

Allflex Ultra Maxi

Visual Ear Tag
Allflex Maxi
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

Allflex Ultra Large

Visual Ear Tag
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

Allflex Ultra Junior

Visual Ear Tag
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk


Allflex 840 RFID Tags: ISO 11784/85 Compliant.

Tag Name Tag Type Picture Species

FDX Ultra EID Tag

Button Ear Tag FDX
Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk

HDX High Performance Ultra EID Tag

Button Ear Tag
Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk

Lightweight EID Tag

Button Ear Tag FDX
Sheep/Goats, Pigs, Deer/Elk

FDX Plus Ultra EID Tag

Button Ear Tag FDX
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

All-in-One, FDX Plus EID Tag

RFID Visual Tag
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

All-in-One, HDX High Performance EID Tag

RFID Visual Tag
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

Allflex Global-Ident Microchip

Injectable Transponder
Equine, Alpaca/Llama

AVID Identification 840 RFID Tag: Injectable Transponder ISO 11874/85

EZID Transponder Implant

Injectable Transponder
Equine, Alpaca/Llama

Destron 840 Visual Tags:

Medium Visual Tamper Evident Tag

Visual Ear Tag

Large Visual Tamper Evident Tag

Visual Ear Tag

Extra Large Visual Tamper Evident Tag

Visual Ear Tag

Destron 840 RFID Tags: ISO 11784/85 Compliant.

Destron e.Tag

Button Ear Tag
Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk

Destron Combo e.Tag

RFID Visual Tag
Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

Sheep/Goat Tag

Button Ear Tag
Sheep/Goats, Deer/Elk

Equine LifeChip

Injectable Transponder
Equine, Alpaca/Llama

Equine Bio-thermo LifeChip

Injectable Transponder
Equine, Alpaca/Llama


Button Ear Tag
Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk

All Other 840 Visual Tags:

ReyVis XL 
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
Herdsman Small
Temple Tag
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
Herdsman Medium
Temple Tag
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
Herdsman Large
Temple Tag
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
All American 1 Star
Y-Tex Corp.
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Sheep/Goat, Deer/Elk
All American 2 Star
Y-Tex Corp.
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk
All American 3 Star
Y-Tex Corp.
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
All American 4 Star
Y-Tex Corp.
Visual Ear Tag No Picture Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk

All Other 840 RFID Tags: ISO 11874/85 Compliant.

Global Animal Management
Button Ear Tag
No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
ReyRID Tag
Button Ear Tag
No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
Leadertronic HDX
Leader Products
Button Ear Tag
No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
Write TAG
Stockbrands Co.
Button Ear Tag
No Picture Cattle, Bison, Deer/Elk
Temple EID Tag
Temple Tag
Button Ear Tag
No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk
Y-Tex RFID Tag
Y-Tex Corp.
Button Ear Tag
No Picture Cattle, Bison, Pigs, Deer/Elk

All Cattle ear tags and injectable transponders are approved for the following species of livestock. Cattle, Bison, Equine, Pigs, Alpaca, Llama, Sheep, and Goats, as well as Wildlife animals Deer, and Elk.

Please click on the following for a listing of the Approved Canadian Cattle Ear Tags.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Approved Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tags


April 16, 2010

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA)

is an industry initiated and established organization that manages the Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) A trace back system designed for the containment and eradication of animal disease. Established in 1998, CCIA has developed the only mandatory national cattle identification program for the cattle industry and works with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to ensure the food safety of the Canadian cattle industry.

For a complete list of CCIA Approved RFID Handheld Readers you can find the official list here.

In Canada there are six official RFID cattle ear tags that are approved by the CCIA. These are the official tags that must be used for the Cattle Identification Program in Canada.

Allflex HDX

Allflex FDX

Destron etag FDX


Y-Tex TechStar II Tag FDX

Zee Tags FDX

Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tag Allflex 

Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tag Allflex


Allflex HDX                Allflex FDX

               Destron eTag FDX 


Reyflex-Cattle-Ear-Tag-FDX-CanadaY-Tex-Cattle-Ear-Tag-FDX-Canada Zee-Tags-Cattle-Ear-Tag-FDX-Canada

Reyflex FDX                 Y-Tex TechStar FDX    Zee Tags FDX

These tags have been tested under trial conditions and have met the Program’s criteria for retention, readability and ability to withstand tampering and environmental conditions.

Cattle ear tags are availableCCIA through retailers of farm supplies, veterinarians, and other industry organizations.

If you are looking for a reseller in your location, please feel free to send me an email.

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA)

is an industry initiated and established organization. To inquire more about the approved cattle tags, or the Canadian Livestock Tracking System, they can be contacted at (877) 909-2333

Click on the following link for a listing of the USDA approved RFID ear tags,

Follow us on Twitter for updates. Livestock_ID

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Age and Source Verification: The essential prerequisite for Animal Identification.


April 07, 2010

Age and Source Verification: The essential prerequisite for Animal Identification.

A recent research project that was conducted by the University of Illinois, demonstrated how cattle ranchers could receive higher premiums per head of cattle. The research and proposed system call “The Processed Verification Program” or (PVP) for Age and Source verification of livestock.

The Processed Verification Program, which was suggested to the southern Illinois ranchers, proved that higher premiums per head can be achieved, which is added value to their beef cattle operations.

Age and Source Verification, is one of the first and important steps in animal identification. Soon as a calf is born, it is tagged recorded, and the info is sent to the verification program. The rancher then receives documentation that the calf is Age and Source verified. It is a simple and effective start to animal identification.

With Age and Source Verification, this gives confidence to the consumers that their beef can be traced by to the point of origin, and also the age is verified. With the ranchers premise ID, calf tag identification, and date of birth, this can all be reported easily to the state designated PVP.

The University of Illinois, proposed that if “The Processed Verification Program” is implemented and used by farmers breeding cattle in southern Illinois, they could be able to sell their cattle to feed lots with an average premium increase of $25 per head. The premiums could go between $25 to $80 per head, depending on the certified verification, which in the case would simply be Age and Source.

There is also a trend for organic produce and organic production. The more organic feed that is given to cattle, and the way cattle are raised could also give higher premiums per head, along with age and source verification.

Arango Rueda from the University of Illinois recommended that the PVP be put into place immediately, and that farmers make some changes to their operations, so certification can easily be achieved. Arango Rueda, went on to say that on the world market, countries such as Japan, Korea, and some of the European countries, pay higher premiums on verified cattle.

As for a National Animal Identification System, this would be the first step in animal identification, and a start towards full livestock traceability. Age and Source verification or the PVP is a natural first step that all individual states should look at, as the basic grounds for a new NAIS.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


USDA: New Climate Change Research


March 23, 2010

Climate change and its impact on the land, crops and animals.

For years producers from livestock to agriculture, have been concerned about global warming, climate change and the effects that it is having across the board. Many times those concerns and voiced alarms had fallen on deaf ears.

Producers of our food chain supply, from meat to vegetables and fruits are the first of all people, who know (Have Known) about the climate changes and its effects. Climate change has had an impact on land, crops, and animals over the last twenty years.

The producers have spoken, and finally it is officially being recognized as a concern. Climate change and its impact is now part of a new national study.

The US Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Energy (DOE) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) have created a joint research program that designates nearly $50 million to develop climate system models to provide insights on climate variability and impacts on ecosystems across the board.

US Drought Monitor

For years we have all noticed the climate change or global warming, which effects the world, and all consumers who every day buy their fruits and vegetables.

In a year where there is a bad crop, and or low yield, consumers pay a higher price, but ultimately it is the producer who is losing money, as the crops have diminished to low or below breakeven margins, and in many cases has to accept the same selling rate to distributors, and take a loss on additional cost measures to protect their crop.

Same is said for the livestock industry, with rising fuel costs, which affects everything to feed, hay, and machinery needed to provide the needed daily care of livestock.

The USDA, DOE, and NSF will make requests on the proposal for the program in 2010.

This year the NSF will contribute up to $30 million, the DOE will pitch in an approximate $9 million, and the USDA with an approximate of $10 million. With this joint venture between the three main agencies, this will allow for combined funding, and expertise in each of its fields, which they will collectively share.

Agriculture Climate Change

USDA will support research to develop climate based models that will be linked specifically to crop, forestry, livestock, and aquaculture, to measure the potential management and strategies in the development of the climate change project.

Through federal funding and leadership for the research, education and extension programs, the NIFA will focus on science and solving critical issues which impact daily lives of people, and the nation.

The much needed study on climate change and its impact affects on livestock and agriculture are finally being recognized as a major concern, not only to producers but to the nation and overall population.

Global warming and climate change its impacts on the land, crops and animals is a concern that should be taken seriously by everyone.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


Livestock Premise Identification in Canada


March 19, 2010

Premise Identification, is a key factor in livestock traceability, along with tagging livestock with RFID ear tags, premise identification (Premise ID) is an important part of the livestock traceability chain. This enables authorities (CCIA) to trace livestock back to point of origin, through RFID cattle ear tags, as well as the farm or feedlot the animal came from.

In short premise identification is the identity of a geographic location, or plot of land, which is quickly identified during an outbreak.

Premise Identification is an extremely important factor in livestock traceability, without a premise id, the traceability systems does not come full circle in the traceability chain.

Premises are the location where livestock are held, this includes farms, pastures, feedlots, auction marts, and veterinary clinics.

In the event of a disease outbreak, the register of premise id provides officials with the exact location of specific livestock. In the event of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak also known as foot and mouth disease, livestock can be first located by premise identification.

The animal traceability system is comprised of three main components, which are premise identification, animal identification, and animal movements. These factors are recorded in the livestock database. (Canadian Livestock Tracking System)

Premise identification is also cost effective, as fewer livestock animals would be affected by an outbreak, and only those specific premise locations, where an outbreak can be traced back, would be affected, and quick action can be implemented to reduce the loss of cattle, sheep or other livestock from that location.

Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tag In Canada all livestock operators must have their location registered for premise identification; this is also needed for RFID ear tags, Age Verification and animal movements, as they are allocated to that specific premise.

The Government of Saskatchewan is assisting the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) with the registering of Saskatchewan premises.

To register for premise identification and age verification of animals please see the contact details below.

Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) at 1-877-909-2333 or

  Their website

CCIA The CCIA’s Canadian Livestock Tracking Systems:

© Copyright  2010 Livestock-ID 8Z8JWFMP68BK


Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) RFID Pilot


March 16, 2010

Canadian Sheep Federation (CSF) RFID Pilot has begun.

The Canadian Sheep Federation had received over 63 applications for the RFID pilot project.

From the Sheep producer applications, the CSF had selected 25 producers to take part in the pilot project. The producers selected were from BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and the Maritimes.

The sheep producers range from small flocks, to large flocks. The RFID pilot is to determine the overall costs of implementing RFID for sheep producers. The pilot will also determine the overall benefits of animal identification as well.

The Alberta Lamb Producers have been omitted from the RFID pilot, because they are already in a Pilot, which is in its third year. The Alberta Lamb Traceability Project (LTP).

Sheep producers in Quebec (La Fédération des producteurs d'agneaux et moutons du Québec) have been omitted as well, RFID is mandatory in Quebec and reported to Agri-Traçabilité Québec (ATQ).

The Canadian Sheep Federation has allocated funding to fully refund and cover the costs of the RFID Pilot to the participating producers.

Sheep management software is fully refunded by the CSF at 100 percent, up to maximum of $700.00.

The RFID sheep tagtags_yellow_allflexs are also refunded 100 percent.

The following is the RFID sheep ear tags being used,  which are the yellow Allflex RFID button tag and the Shearwell Data SET tag with the official CSIP numbers. 

Hardware for the RFID pilot is a shared cost of 50 percent between the Canadian Sheep Federation and the participating Sheep producers.

Included in the cost sharing is the following.

Laptop computer up to $800.00

RFID Reader up to $1500.00

Scale indicators and load bars up to $2000.00

The sheep producers in the pilot have a choice of the manufactures and product variations they wish to use within the budgeted limits as indicated above.

© Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID


About This Blog

Livestock-ID: Animal Identification Resources, is a blog dedicated to helping producers and professionals with the various types of Animal Identification. From RFID wand readers, to cattle management software. Providing tips and how to articles from A to Z.

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