Free Official 840 RFID Cattle Tags Available for a Limited Time

Source: Denise Derrer – Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH)

Electronic identification in the form of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags continues to be the standard for identifying cattle in the state of Indiana. Hoosier cattle producers have placed nearly 2 million 840 tags since 2014. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) wants to encourage the even wider adoption of electronic 840 RFID tags by making more free tags available for breeding cattle.

“Electronic identification is a positive step to enhance our ability to trace animal diseases that could impact human or animal health or our state’s economy,” said Dr. Bret D. Marsh, Indiana State Veterinarian. “In recent years, BOAH has seen a significant increase in the use of RFID tags in cattle and we encourage producers to continue making the shift away from metal tags toward RFIDs.”

hereford cattle picture
Animal ID, along with premise registration and recordkeeping, is vital for efficiently tracking and stopping livestock disease outbreaks

While supplies last, Indiana cattle owners may apply to receive free tags via BOAH’s website at: www.in.gov/boah/2902.htm

Orders will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as tags are available through a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded program. Delivery of tags by a certain date cannot be guaranteed.

These tags are specifically for use in breeding cattle. They may not be sold or redistributed by producers. Tags should be used on animals associated with the producer’s own premises.

The free tags are official plastic 840 RFID low-frequency button tags. The brand(s) of tags may vary, based on USDA supplies. We cannot guarantee what brand of tag will be received. Tag applicators are NOT provided; producers must obtain the appropriate tag applicator tool.

Livestock producers are required to maintain records for 5 years of all cattle movements, including official ID tag numbers.

Animal identification is just one of three pillars for Indiana’s animal disease traceability (ADT) program. ADT is a nationwide effort, led by USDA, to reduce the amount of time and resources needed to trace the movements of food animals between farms and markets as part of disease investigations.

In addition to animal ID, premises registration and recordkeeping are essential components to ADT. Since 2006, more than 67,000 premises with cattle, swine, goats, sheep and cervids in Indiana have been registered.

Premises identification, coupled with official ID, enables BOAH veterinarians to complete cattle traces in less than 6 minutes—far less time than was needed just 5 years ago. That shortened timeline translates to faster response time to a disease event that could threaten Indiana’s (and America’s) cattle population and agricultural economy.

More information about ADT in Indiana is online at: www.in.gov/boah/2328.htm

If you need more information contact: inprepared@purdue.edu.

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