Begin Transition to RFID Ear Tags Now

USDA will discontinue providing free metal ear tags at the end of this year, though they will still be available from other vendor. ( Farm Journal, Inc. )

Holstein Association USA (HA) is encouraging all dairy producers to begin the transition to electronic animal identification. On January 1, 2023, virtually all dairy cattle will be required to have electronic ID to move interstate.

The only exceptions will be feeder cattle and male dairy cattle born before March 11, 2013.

The use of radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags speeds up data collection and improves animal disease traceability, notes Darin Johnson, HA Dairy Identification Manager. “Holstein Association USA encourages dairymen to consider adding or switching to RFID ear tags with their next inventory tag order,” he says.

USDA will discontinue providing free metal tags at the end of this year. Approved vendors will still be able to produce official metal tags for one year.

On January 1, 2021, USDA will no longer approve the production of metal ear tags with the official USDA shield. In addition, accredited veterinarians and/or producers can no longer apply metal tags for official identification and must start using official RFID ear tags.

On January 1, 2023, RFID tags will be required for cattle moving interstate, and animals previously tagged with metal ear tags will have to be retagged with RFID tags, notes Johnson.

In order to purchase official 840 RFID tags, producers must first obtain a premise identification number (PIN) from their state’s Department of Agriculture. For help in obtaining a PIN, go to https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/traceability/state-pin/

For more information on RFID, go to www.holsteinusa.com or https://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/downloads/plan-to-achieve-eid-factsheet.pdf

 
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