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.


lap dat camera October 1, 2013 at 1:12 AM  

This is great information, thanks’ for share!

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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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