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?

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© 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


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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