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 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its implementation timeline for mandatory electronic animal identification for cattle earlier this year. By Jan. 1, 2023 all dairy cattle will require an official 840 RFID ear tag for interstate movement. 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.
To initiate the move away from metal tags, and toward RFID ear tags, USDA has announced an implementation timeline:
- Dec. 31, 2019 – USDA will discontinue providing free metal tags. However, approved vendors will be permitted to produce official metal tags for one additional year. Approved vendor tags will be available for purchase on a State-by-State basis as authorized by each State animal health official through December 31, 2020.
- 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.
“Holstein Association USA encourages dairymen to consider adding or switching to RFID ear tags with their next inventory tag order,” says Darin Johnson, Holstein Association USA Dairy Identification Manager. “USDA has been providing free metal ear tags, so their implementation timeline has focused on the move away from them. For our members that have been using visual 840 tags, those animals also will have to be retagged after January 1, 2023 to comply with USDA’s RFID requirement.”
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
Those wanting to learn more can visit www.holsteinusa.com, or contact Darin Johnson at 800.952.5200, ext. 4048, or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.