UNDERSTANDING Official USDA 840 EAR TAG
Due to a continued emphasis on livestock traceability within state and federal agencies and the livestock industry, the following information is designed to help answer questions about what is considered an official USDA 840 ear tag and how to obtain these tags.
WHAT IS A FEDERALLY APPROVED EAR TAG?
- A USDA 840 official ear tag is a source of animal identification that, with accurate movement records, provides the ability to trace animals to their origin.
- This capability is critical in the event of an animal disease emergency to help locate what points the animal has been in contact with.
- Anyone who purchases federally approved USDA ear tags will be required to submit their Premise identification number when ordering.
- The Premise ID number will then be recorded in a database and associated with the ear tag numbers from this purchase.
WHAT IS PREMISE IDENTIFICATION?
- Premise identification (Premise ID) is part of the Animal Disease Traceability Framework (ADT) that is designed to help identify animals to the locations they have be raised on or passed through during their lives
- This number along with accurate movement records can serve as a critical piece of information in quickly tracing back an animal to a location in the event of an animal health emergency.
- When registering a Premise ID, the producer’s contact information (name, address, phone for primary and secondary contacts) will be recorded.
- 840 Tags are also called AIN Tags which stands for Animal Identification Number
HOW DO I OBTAIN A PREMISE ID NUMBER?
- Obtaining a Premise ID number is typically a very simple process that involves contacting your state animal health agency.
- Individuals can find their respective state’s contact information by accessing the list of state contacts. Click here to access that list.
WHAT Will BE ON MY OFFICIAL USDA EAR TAG?
- Although there are a few different options for federally approved USDA 840 ear tags, the key components are:
- A unique number for each animal: This would mean that each tag you purchase has a unique number generated by the USDA so that each animal has a tag that is unique to them. Think of this as the animal’s social security number or a VIN number on a car.
- Tamper proof and permanently numbered: Tamper-proof, permanently-numbered tags will be produced with the numbers permanently printed on the tag during production, as opposed to receiving a blank tag and writing an identification number on the tag. They can only be used once and should not be removed.
- US shield emblem: Federally-approved USDA ear tags will possess a small US logo.
WHAT IS AN 840 EAR TAG?
- 840 tags comply with the requirements of the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) framework for both visual and electronic identification.
- These tags are recognized in a standardized information system between federal, state and industry officials.
- Each tag contains 15 digits and will begin with the numbers 840 (the USA country code). The remaining 12 digits on the tag are unique to the individual animal.
- 840 tags come in RFID tags the electrical form EID that can be read by a reader or in a visual tag in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors (rectangular shape, round-button shape, etc) but each are accepted forms of official ID.
- Depending on the size and shape of the tag, additional information may be printed on the bottom of the tag, such as an additional management number for the animal or the producer’s Premise ID number.
HOW DO I PURCHASE 840 EAR TAGS?
- 840 ear tags can be purchased through authorized ear tag distributors like CCK Outfitters the ear tag company.
- When purchasing 840 tags, the purchaser will be required to submit their Premise ID number.
- The tag distributor will then confirm that the Premise ID number given is accurate. If there is an issue with the Premise ID number, the producer will be contacted to correct the issue.
- Once the Premise ID number of the tag purchaser is validated, the Premise ID will be recorded in a database with the tag numbers that are being purchased. This is how the traceability component of the federal tags becomes effective.
CAN I PURCHASE 840 EAR TAGS FROM MY VETERINARIAN?
- Your veterinarian may be an option to obtain 840 ear tags. However they are not a stockable tag, meaning that each time you order 840 ear tags, you must provide your Premise ID so that it is specific to the ear tags you are purchasing. This can only be done through an authorized ear tag dealer.
- Therefore, if you are purchasing ear tags through your veterinarian, your vet will follow the same process that you would, when purchasing tags through an authorized tag manager and dealer. Your veterinarian would require you to provide your Premise ID number to make a purchase from the ear tag seller.
DOES MY PREMISE ID HAVE TO BE PRINTED ON MY 840 EAR TAG?
- Although some 840 ear tags do provide enough room to print the producers Premise ID on the bottom portion of the tag, this is not a requirement.
- On swine ear tags, an 840 Tag with a PIN is not equivalent to the Official PIN Tag that is being required a condition of sale by the majority of packers that harvest sow and boars
- The 840 ear tag will provide the capability of retrieving the Premise ID associated with the animal in a national database, since this information is recorded when the tags are purchased.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VISUAL 840 EAR TAG AND A RFID 840 EAR TAG?
- Visual 840 ear tags do not have any electronic capability and are only used as a source of visual identification. Visual tags may often be less expensive compared to electronic tags.
- Electronic Identification tags (EID ear tags) also known as Radio Frequency Identification ear tags (RFID ear tags) can be utilized to store and track information through a database using a readable scanner (wand). This provides more options for record keeping on performance records for producers by using herd management software.
- 840 ear tags DO NOT have to be RFID capable. Both visual 840 tags and RFID 840 tags are official USDA forms of identification but check with your state or association for their specific rules, some will require a certain tag. The key is that the tag is an 840 tag.
HERE ARE THE OPTIONS ON A 840 ear tag:
Example 1: 840 VISUAL swine ear tag with management number printed on bottom.
Example 2: 840 VISUAL round and button ear tag
Example 3: 840 VISUAL panel ear tag
Example 4: 840 EID ear tag
Example 5: Visual panel tag matched to an EID tag where both display the 840 number.
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