CCIA Approved RFID Handheld Readers


October 12, 2011

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has a list of approved RFID tags and approved readers for the Canadian livestock industry. Both tags and readers have gone through field testing with pilot projects and are approved for the Canadian climate and requirements of the Canadian cattle industry.

If you’re looking for the official list of CCIA Approved Tags, you can find the list here.

CCIA Approved RFID Handheld Readers:

Aleis 9030 RFID handheld reader, is the most advanced stand alone RFID reader on the market.

Any animal event can be entered on the reader, in the field, without the need of a handheld device.

Agrident AIR 100 RFID Reader, is an actual RFID reader module, that easily integrates with a Psion Teklogix Workabout Pro.

The AIR 100 Ad-on readers provide a great solution to the Workabout Pro handhelds, where you can use mobile cattle or sheep management software.

Agrident AIR 200 RFID Reader, is the same as the AIR 100 module, with the difference being its telescopic antenna.

Agrident has three different versions of their telescopic antenna’s, including a handheld external antenna style stick.

Agrident AWR RFID Stick Reader, is their most rugged RFID stick reader designed to be used in harsh environments.

The AWR 200 reader comes with Bluetooth, the AWR 100 reader is just a straight stick reader, with serial connection. 

Allflex RS250 RFID Stick Reader, the infamous grey stick, is one of Allflex’s cost effective basic RFID stick reader.

The RS250 stick reader, is designed just to read tags, nothing more.

If you’re looking for just a reliable reader to scan a tag only, this is the reader.
Allflex RS320-3-60 Yellow Stick is an ISO RFID Stick Reader. The reader comes in two different sizes, with Bluetooth, or basic serial connection.

The read has a memory of 5000 tags, its lightweight and ergonomically designed for easy use.

The Allflex yellow stick RFID reader is the most popular stick reader on the market.

Destron DTR-4 RFID Reader, also known as the paddle or wand reader, is a reliable reader with an added function, that no other reader has.

The DTR-4 comes with Bluetooth, easy to read screen, and has the added function of Bio-Thermo technology, which reads internal temperature of an animal, with the Bio-Thermo LifeChips.
Gallagher Smartreader HR3 RFID Reader, is a lightweight reader, with protective hand guard, and trigger action to read tags.

Readers come with Bluetooth, and internal tag memory of 2000 tags.

The HR3 has a bright LCD screen at the handle of the reader.

Reader is Compatible with Gallagher SmartScale series scales.

I.D. ology Lightning ROD RFID Reader, comes with Bluetooth, LCD screen, and the reader is lightweight.

The reader has lightning fast connectivity with devices, and reconnects automatically, if the reader gets in and out of range with the connected device (Computer or Scale).

All CCIA approved RFID handheld readers, read all CCIA Approved RFID tags, which include HDX and FDX-B ear tags, and injectable tags. The approved readers will read all popular RFID / EID ear tags, and leg tags from all major manufacturers, even ones, that are not on the CCIA approved tag list.

The handheld wand and stick readers are all ISO RFID readers, reading the standard EID tag technology of ISO 11784 and 11785

Want more in-depth details on these animal ID readers? Join our Livestock ID newsletter for future issues, which will go into thorough detail on each reader. You can sign-up now here.

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By George Luker © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


Cattle EID on the way for the UK


September 01, 2011

The UK farming industry welcomed the European Commissions’ proposal to move forward with Cattle EID. The EC made the announcement earlier this week on the need for bovine traceability, and also made recommendations for a much needed real time livestock database.

In its proposal the European Commission recommended a voluntary electronic identification system for all cattle. Several European countries currently use a voluntary EID system for ranch management purposes, which also provides an existing platform of identification for movement of bovine through its borders.

Members of the European Union mentioned that an implementation of a fully compliant EID system for cattle in the UK would strengthen the current traceability system for beef cattle and food products; making it faster and with accuracy.

In order to move quickly and give UK cattle producers an incentive to use EID, the EU has urged the UK government to allocated funds for initial grants for EID traceability to the bovine industry. The grants would be needed for cattle producers to purchase the necessary hardware for EID management, which would initially be for RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) readers.

Electronic identification (EID) tagging in sheep and goats in the UK has been mandatory since 2010, along with individual recording of each animal.

What is an EID Tag?

EID is an acronym for Electronic Identification, which is aUK Cattle EID Tag term used for scanning or reading the identification number of an object with an electronic device or EID reader, which works the same way as a barcode scanner.

EID uses RFID as the technology used to read the identification, like a barcode scanner, RFID uses radio frequency to read the identification of a tag.

An EID tag is another term used for RFID tags, in this case an EID ear tag is the same as an RFID button tag or RFID ear tag.

Bovine EID:

Bovine EID would be the next logical step for a complete and accurate traceability system with agricultures most valued commodity.

Bovine EID makes perfect sense in a country, where Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) also known as Mad Cows disease has the highest known cases for the fatal animal disease.

When BSE was discovered in the UK, not only did it cause many deaths directly related from infected cattle, it also created a financial crises on the UK beef cattle industry. At the time of the outbreak, the UK had confirmed more than 180 000 cattle had been diagnosed with BSE, which resulted in an initial slaughter of over 4 million cattle, in an effort to eradicate the disease.

© Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


Branding Livestock for Animal Disease Traceability


July 29, 2011

The USDA has just released an update and status report on the new Animal Disease Traceability system, which is still in the finalization process, and to be implemented by the individual states and tribes. The time frame for the new traceability program is on target to be made mandatory in 2012.

The most recent indication from the USDA is, that they will allow branding and tattoo as an official form of animal identification within the animal disease traceability system. Until now, it was not known if branding would be considered as a compliant form of identification for livestock such as cattle, bison, sheep, goats, and pigs along with other species.

Branding will however have a new requirement or process of identification, which the USDA has yet to make public. This will change how branding will be done in the future for cattle moving interstate.

The USDA’s approach to a traceability system, still remains as a basic requirement for animal disease traceability, and would apply only to animals moving interstate. The ADT will still be implemented by each state or tribe, and the ability to use cost effective alternatives for official AIN.

The USDA will define the method and approved identification marking and devices to be used within the animal disease traceability framework.

The Grey Area of Animal Disease Identification:

There is still a grey area in the proposed animal disease traceability system, Dr. John Clifford the Chief Veterinarian Officer for APHIS released this update recently from the USDA. In the ADT update, it is stated that branding will be considered as a form of animal identification, but as an alternative form which must be agreed upon by health officials.

Animal-Disease-Traceability-USDA-BrandingHere comes the grey area, if branding is accepted as an official form of identification, this is contradictory to the USDA current identification requirements for official AIN (Animal Identification Number) which is a defined format of identification on ear tags.

Another potential grey area of ADT would be the official 840 approved tags (RFID and visual) being the internationally recognized number for livestock from the United States.

The proposed Animal disease traceability program or system has so far just been for the movement of animal’s interstate, nothing has been mentioned about international tagging and identification requirements, which is the use of RFID button tags, also known as EID (Electronic Identification).

At the moment this is still the current list of official 840 tags as approved by the USDA as official compliance with AIN requirement.

Branding does not offer any quick and effective ability to read, look up an identification number or mark, which is not an ASCII character in a computer database, this issue has yet to be addressed and or defined.

An ASCII character is a numeric value in computer markup language that defines characters that are not alpha numeric, such as the # symbol and other symbols on a computer keyboard. Brands do not have an ASCII character.

So the question remains, will Branding be an official form of identification for animal disease traceability or just an additional alternative, to the official ADT method of identification?

Want to stay in the loop with the current updates on animal disease traceability? Sign up for our newsletter.

© Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


Livestock Insurance: How to get the Best Plan


July 20, 2011

Insurance it’s security that we can’t live without. We need insurance in all parts of our lives, from basic life insurance, car, business, to mortgage insurance.

Livestock insurance is the most needed asset in a livestock and farm operation; there are many types of livestock coverage, from basic coverage to frozen semen, livestock in transit, embryos, and many more.

Equine insurance is in a class all on its own aEquine Insurancend many livestock insurance companies do not provide complete equine coverage.

Depending on  your needs you should get equine insurance quotes separately from farm or livestock.

Farm insurance for livestock should at least cover and protect the producer against, unforeseen losses and provide financial security and peace of mind.

Like all other aspects in business, you should shop around and compare insurance rates and coverage. Livestock and Equine insurance companies, policies, and coverage’s will differ from one company to the other, and a basic comparison on insurance, is like comparing apples to oranges. The benefits of a livestock insurance policy, should meet your financial needs.

General Livestock Insurance:

Cattle Equine Swine Poultry
Sheep Goats Bison Llama
Mink Exotic Canine  

4-H (Beef, Dairy, Equine, Canine)

Basic Coverage:

All Risks of Mortality (ARM)

Accidental External Injury (AEI)

Restricted Perils (RP)

Stand Alone coverage for confined feeding operations/dairies/specialty livestock

Bull Breeding Extension (BBE)

Stallion Infertility Extension

Transit (including cross country and overseas)

Show Insurance

Business Interruption

Livestock in Transit:

Basic coverage for livestock in transit insurance should provide coverage, from moving a single animal to an exhibition or sale facility, breeder to a family farm, to full loads of livestock moving across the country.

All Risks of Mortality in moving animals should be, farm to farm, farm to pasture, show and transit coverage.

Equine Insurance:

Many livestock insurers do not cover complete equine insurance, due to the complexity of operations and many variables of horses, from breed value and theft, to personal and property damages.

Equine insurance should provide the basic coverage of operations.



Riding Areas

Care Custody Control

Employers Liability

Wagon Rides



Animal Mortality for everything from the family horse to Blood Stock lines.

The main tip for livestock and equine insurance is to shop around and compare coverage, premiums, and ease of claims. When your policy is about to expire, shop around and get quotes from at least three insurance companies. Saving money effects your bottom line, financial ease of mind also has a major impact on livestock operations.

© Copyright 2011, Livestock-ID


Livestock-ID Newsletter Sign-up


June 30, 2011

Livestock-ID will soon be publishing its first edition of the newsletter, a reminder for all to sign-up today, and don’t get left behind.

The Livestock-ID newsletter will have exclusive content, in-depth reports, and special manufacturer rebates and offer’s that are exclusive to subscribers only.


Sign-up now and get the inside scoop on products, manufacturer rebates, and government rebates or incentives for animal identification. 

The new NAIS (National Animal Identification System) which will be named “Animal Disease Traceability” will become mandatory soon, now is a better time than ever to sign-up for the Livestock-ID Newsletter.

Additional Resources:

USDA Animal Disease Traceability System A look at the proposed new NAIS, and potential requirements for animal identification.

Approved USDA Cattle Ear Tags: 840 Tags is the current and up to date list of USDA approved and official 840 tags.

Livestock-ID Newsletter Sign-up

Livestock-ID, Animal Identification Resources © Copyright 2011


Allflex USA Buys Destron Fearing Corp


May 18, 2011

Allflex USA, Inc. has increased its product portfolio in animal identification technology; with the newly acquired Destron Fearing Corporation (animal ID) subsidiary of Digital Angel Corp. Allflex USA has completed the acquisition for $25 million USD in cash.

Digital Angel Corp. and its board of directors decided to sell off its animal ID division on the advice of independent investment consultants. The company had refused an offer of $17 million last year from PositiveID Corporation. Digital Angel will use the proceeds from the sale of Destron Fearing to concentrate on its core business of emergency identification solutions, which consist of rescue beacons.

Destron Fearing also known simply as Destron has its products used globally in many applications such as pet identification for companion animals; using its patented FDA approved implantable microchips (glass transponders). Destron’s other applications include livestock identification and herd management, using visual and RFID ear tags. Destron also manufactures a full line of RFID readers from its popular DTR-4 handheld reader to fixed panel readers, all used for livestock identification of cattle, sheep, horses and swine.

One of Destron’s most prized assets is its patents on implantable microchips, including BIO-THERMO LifeChip Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) microchip. There is also an approved Official 840 tag version of the LifeChip.

The Bio-Thermo LifeChip is a unique asset for animal identification along with the added benefits of animal health. The most popular applications for the RFID temperature tags are companion animal id and equine identification.

The implanted LifeChip allows an RFID reader to capture the animal’s body temperature, along with its unique identification. The benefit of reading real time temperature is the ability to identify a sick animal, and detect early stages of animal disease, prompting immediate action.

Destron-DTR4-Bluetooth-RFID-ReaderThere are only two RFID readers on the market with this patented technology to read Bio-Thermo LifeChip tags. Small animal veterinarians use a small AVID reader, and state veterinarians and ranchers use the Destron DTR-4 handheld reader.

The DTR-4 is one of the most versatile handheld reader on the market, which reads all livestock ear tags from Allflex HDX and FDX ear tags to Destron EID tags, and Bio-Thermo LifeChip tags. The DTR-4 can also read real time body temperature, which is an advantage for equine identification.

Allflex USA is a leader in design, manufacturing and technology for livestock identification products and management tools. Allflex identification products include visual identification tags, tamperproof tags, global management tags, feedlot tags, and RFID ear tags for EID systems.

With the acquisition of Destron Fearing, Allflex USA now adds traceability and identification to animal health.

© Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


USDA Animal Disease Traceability System


April 15, 2011

The USDA Animal Disease Traceability system is about to be released shortly. The new Animal ID Plan will then be reviewed, funded by congress, go through a question period, will be implemented and become mandatory to all livestock producers.

Since the fall of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in Feb of 2010, the USDA had started at ground zero to create a new and improved animal ID plan. The focus and objective of the new ID program will be for animal disease traceability. Over the last year the USDA’s APHIS has conducted many public meetings with livestock industry officials to get feedback and share openly, ideas, concerns, and feasibility of a new animal identification system.

The new animal disease traceability is about to be released anytime now, there are still a few pieces to the traceability system to be determined, the following is what has already been planned and has not changed and will be implemented as the basis of the new animal disease traceability plan.

What Will Be the Foundation of Animal Disease Traceability?

The animal disease traceability will be run by each state. Cattle and four other species will be identified, if they cross state lines.

What Type of Ear Tags will be Mandatory for the Animal Disease Traceability System?

This is not known yet, but speculation would be a low cost official 840 ear tags. Details have not been released yet concerning the actual tag requirements. RFID ear tags are the preferred choice of tag, to be used in conjunction with a state run traceability system.

The USDA’s proposed framework for traceability would be to have a variety of tags to choose from, ranging from free brucellosis vaccination tags, which are applied by veterinarians, to other proposed management tags, that can be applied by livestock producers.

Flexibility and ease of implementation is the message from the USDA’s APHIS, which is the reason that all states will be responsible to create and implement their own traceability programs, which will compliant with USDA guidelines for traceability.

Why did the National Animal Identification System Fail in the Past?

Many cattle and livestock producers were opposed to a national animal identification that would have been mandatory, citing costs and privacy issues, and wanted a voluntary system only. He USDA had considered a voluntary system only, but seen there would have been minimal participation, which inevitably defies the purpose of an animal traceability program.

USDA began working on an aniAnimal Disease Identificationmal identification system in the early 1990s. The traceability system was seen as a dire necessity after the 2003 disease outbreak, which the U.S. discovered three cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. The BSE confirmed animals stopped the U.S. Beef exports, and crippled the livestock industry to a standstill.

The U.S. beef cattle industry is still feeling the repercussions from the BSE discovery of 2003. Beef exports have dropped considerably over the years, and this trend will continue because of increased import regulations from other countries.

What Do you Think, Will the New Animal Disease Traceability System Work?

The need for an animal disease traceability system is now, and the U.S. is already 10 years behind. This is still the current list of USDA Approved 840 Ear Tags.

Animal Identification Newsletter:

Livestock-ID newsletter sign up here for additional information on animal identification, tag incentive programs and more.

By George Luker © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


Press Release: Free Animal ID Resources


March 15, 2011

Keeping up to date with Animal identification, processes, regulations, and new technology can be a full time task on its own. Livestock-ID blog continues to provide full resources for livestock producers, from current news and information articles, to listing links to resources, such as free ear tags for livestock.

You can read our current press release on free animal identification consulting. As we move forward with our blog, livestock producers and industry officials can stay current on topics such as animal disease traceability, new developments in products and services for livestock identification.

Livestock-ID is in the process of creating a bi-weekly newsletter, which will provide more in-depth information on all aspects of animal identification. We invite you all the sign up for the newsletter, as it will provide additional content, which might not be available on our blog.

The Livestock-ID newsletter is free and you can sign-up at anytime.

Cattle producers continueCattle Ear Tag to consult the Livestock-ID blog for up to date information on market issues, traceability implementation programs and more.

Animal identification has many benefits, not only to the public sector, but to cattle and livestock producers. Implementing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) along with livestock management software can provide many cost reduction benefits for basic herd management.

Press Release: Animal Identification 1st Year of Free Consulting.

Sign-up for Livestock-ID Newsletter

© 2011 Livestock-ID, Animal Identification Resources


APHIS: Animal Disease Traceability Meeting


February 28, 2011

Animal disease traceability will be the main discussion and topic on USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee. The teleconference call will be a 5 hour meeting, which will discuss animal health matters and the traceability framework. The public is encouraged to participate in the meetings.

APHIS Teleconference Meeting Details:

First meeting will be on March 4, 2011, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. (EST) Dial-In: 888-790-3291 Passcode: 1411045

APHISThe other meetings will take place on May 13 and on July 15, which will be teleconferences as well, and will be open to the public. Public participation at these meetings will be listen only.

Since the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was scraped in 2010, the APHIS has been holding public meetings and discussions on the proposed new traceability system, which will be the Animal disease traceability (ADT) system in the United States.

APHIS will continue its planned and scheduled meetings this year, in an effort to discuss animal traceability, and the need to identify diseases in livestock.

APHIS has spent most of 2010 developing the framework and structure for the proposed new Animal disease traceability, which is intended to be more flexible and producer friendly system, and at the same time providing reliable data for animal movement traceability. Individual states, tribes and producers will have a hands on approach to traceability, but must use ear tags and recording of individual animal ID’s to a centralized state maintained database.

The end result must be a traceability framework, which will enable APHIS to react to animal disease outbreaks, in an effort to eradicate and quarantine livestock in the event of a reported outbreak. Minimizing cost and loss to producers and the livestock industry is the ultimate priority.

By George Luker © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


Australian Cattle Recovery with RFID


February 08, 2011

Australia’s National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is adding more value and purpose beyond its original intent of tracking cattle diseases. Identifying cattle and livestock that have wandered off of farms is being done, quickly and efficiently since they are tagged with RFID ear tags.

Cyclone Yasi that hit and went through north Queensland last week caused so much destruction in the small town and rural area. In the path of destruction are many farms, which have had fences and posts damaged by the cyclone. With the added damages all around, are wandering livestock in the streets and on properties of fellow farmers and neighbors.

The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is helping in the recovery of wandering and stranded livestock, which now roam freely along streets, fields, and farms. Since all livestock like cattle and sheep have mandatory RFID ear tags, it is making identification of individual animals that much easier, and livestock are being returned to their rightful owners and farm of origin.

RFID ear tags provide tamper proof identification, which cannot be manipulated, providing secure and reliable identification of livestock. Cattle and sheep have typical EID button tags, while horses have an implanted microchip for equine identification. All these different type of RFID tags provide the exact same purpose, unique identification.

Australian Cattle RecoveryWith natural disasters like cyclone Yasi that has hit Australia, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology along with a national database is proof that the system works. Australian cattlemen begin to round up livestock after cyclone Yasi.

With the cattle recovery in process, this opens a Pandora’s Box on a possible animal disease epidemic. State veterinarians will be monitoring all livestock closely over the next few months for signs of diseases in cattle and sheep.

© Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative


February 07, 2011

The Canadian livestock and cattle industry get a competitive boast to increase and implement full traceability, with a $20 million three year initiative from the government of Canada. The RFID incentive will further increase the Canadian livestock traceability system that is already in place to be EID compliant.

Animal Identification is a vital part of Canada’s economic growth in the livestock market, both nationally and internationally. In order to keep competitive on the international market, and be compliant with increasing import regulations, the Canadian Cattle industry is working to be fully traceable, reliable, and accountable in all aspects of livestock traceability, from farm to fork.

The Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative (LATI) is a three-year (2011-2014) program with funding from the Agricultural Flexibility Fund.  

The Agricultural Flexibility Fund is a five-year (2009-2014), $500 million fund to help with the implementation of new initiatives, both federally and in partnership with provinces, territories and the livestock industry.

The LATI will cover up to 80 percent of eligible project activities, up to a maximum of $100,000 per facility. The purpose of the Livestock Auction Initiative is to upgrade cuFeedlot Cattlerrent facilities and implement RFID panel readers in new ones. All the hardware and software needed to capture the tag EID’s in feedlots is the main priority since this is where the most cattle are assembled and co mingle from different farm of origins. The need to accurately identify individual cattle as they enter and leave the premises is a major requirement. RFID panel readers are the recommended choice of RFID readers for high traffic areas, such as feedlots and auction marts.

The LATI will cover most costs of the readers, training to use them, construction and building materials needed to house and run the readers as well as software and related costs to implement an RFID system.

The Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative is for the following:

Live animal auction marts
Privately managed community pastures
Animal Assembly Yards
Fairs and Exhibits

Since 2004 the

Canadian cattle industry has been using RFID technology to track animal movements across the country. RFID tagging

of Cattle is mandatory at farm of origin, before cattle leave the herd of origin. Full use of Approved Canadian Cattle RFID tags became mandatory as of January 2010


Like many other countries, Canada had chosen Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to implement a full traceable system. Using RFID cattle tags gives the Canadian Cattle Traceability system the security and integrity of exact identification of individual cattle and its movements.

Additional Resources and Links:
Approved Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tags
Information on how to apply for the program:
LATI Program Guide

© Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID


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