USDA APHIS Investigative and Enforcement Services (IES)

Investigative and Enforcement Services’ (IES) staff of roughly 140 employees throughout the country provides investigative, enforcement, and regulatory support services to four APHIS programs—Animal Care (AC), Biotechnology Regulatory Services (BRS), Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), and Veterinary Services (VS).   IES also provides these services for agricultural quarantine inspection (AQI) activities carried out by the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  The Agency enforces the following laws, each of which outlines requirements for compliance and general penalty provisions: Plant Protection Act (administered by PPQ, BRS; port-related AQI-related activities carried out by CBP)Animal Health Protection Act (administered by VS; AQI-related activities carried out by CBP)Virus Serum Toxin Act (administered by VS)Commercial Transportation of Equines to Slaughter Act (administered by VS)Animal Welfare Act (administered by AC)Horse Protection Act (administered by AC)Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act (administered by VS) Honey Bee Act(administered by PPQ and VS)Federal Seed Act  (administered by PPQ and VS)Lacey ActIES’ work is divided between two groups.  Field investigators conduct investigations and produce reports of investigation (ROIs), and headquarters enforcement staff members review completed ROIs for evidentiary sufficiency.  When the information and evidence gathered during an investigation supports a finding of a violation, APHIS may pursue enforcement action against that person or entity. Investigative ProcessEnforcement ProcessEnforcement Summaries: APHIS OverallAgricultural Quarantine Inspection (AQI)Animal Care (AWA and HPA)USDA HPA Federal Disqualification and Civil Penalty ListView AWA and HPA Enforcement ActionsBiotechnology Regulatory ServicesPlant Protection and QuarantineVeterinary Services Source APHIS

Posted on: 14 October 2015 | 9:31 am

A Dog Has it's Day Video

With springtime upon us, and the warmer weather finally coming through, we able to actually enjoy going outdoors. It's always nice to go shopping without putting on a pair of ice skates.Companion Animals are an important part of all our lives, for both young and old. Dogs and cats become a part of the family as we adopt or get a new animal. It is important to remind everyone, that companion animals need to be cared for and loved.As the old saying goes, but also a known fact. Dog is the only creature on earth, that will love you more than it love's itself.This video A Dog's Revenge is meant to be humor. The important message though, is that we must remember to be good to our dogs. Don't leave them locked up in a car on a hot day, while you're shopping. The best place for a dog is at home. Although this video the dog is in an RV (Recreational Vehicle) and the windows are open, so this is not really a case of animal abuse, but a simple reminder for us all. Besides the owner will have a pleasant surprise when they come back. Might be a trip back to Walmart for some cleaning supplies and air fresheners. Enjoy the video and share it with friends. Copyright 2015 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 22 April 2015 | 12:44 pm

New USDA Animal Identification 840 Tags in Effect

As of March 2015 the new Animal Identification system went into effect with the official approved 840 tags, which helps in the Animal Disease Traceability System.The Animal Disease Tractability Program went into effect on March 2013 with a grace period of 2 years. The APHIS had allowed for the 2 year period so cattle producers could use their old 900 ID tags, and make the transition to the new 840 ID tags.As of March 2015 all producers should be tagging cattle with the new 840 tags, for traceability within the new Animal Disease Traceability Program (ADT), which is administered by the USDA APHIS.Under the new rule from the USDA, the new tagging system must comply with the official approved 840 tags only; the 900 tags are no longer accepted and or approved for ADT.The new rule is in effect for cattle crossing state lines at the moment. The USDA has yet to provide a complete ruling and official regulation for complete 840 tagging traceability.The Animal Disease Traceability is still a gray area.ADT 840 Tag Compliance: Official (AIN) Animal Identification Number tags should begin with the 840 prefix with the U.S. shield on the tag. Tags could be visual or RFID tags. At the moment the APHIS is currently educating producers on the new 840 tagging compliance, rather than enforcing the law. Animal Identification Resources:Approved USDA Cattle Ear Tags: 840 Tags Methods of Marking Visual ID Ear Tags Animal Identification: Benefits of RFIDBranding Livestock for Animal Disease TraceabilityLivestock Insurance: How to get the Best PlanAnimal Identification: Benefits of RFIDBy Livestock-ID, Copyright 2015

Posted on: 30 March 2015 | 9:04 am

Animal Identification: Benefits of RFID

Animal identification requires the basics of a visual ID tag and animal management software. Going beyond the basics of visual ID tags, shows management benefits which prove overall cost reduction of animal management. Using RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) for animal identification, provides more in depth knowledge, easier traceability and reliable information overall. The following video, is one of a series of videos, dedicated to animal identification. The videos demonstrate firsthand, in the field the benefits of using RFID tags, RFID readers, and animal management software.  Benefits of RFID Tagging.By Livestock-ID, Copyright 2013

Posted on: 25 January 2013 | 10:31 am

Happy Holiday's

We would like to wish all our readers Happy Holiday's during this festive family holiday tradition.This is the time of year, we see the wonder in children's eyes and reconnect with family members.Christmas time is a holiday for sharing the warm spirit of love, happiness, and togetherness.Happy Holiday's to you and yours, may the new year be joyful, prosperous, and adventurous.   Sincerely,Livestock-ID

Posted on: 26 December 2012 | 11:50 am

Allflex A-Tag: One Piece Cattle Tag

The new Allflex A-Tag provides a cost effective short term identification solution, which is also designed to be high quality visual tag. The A-TAG is designed to be a one piece ear tag, with a self-piercing design. Allflex is known worldwide as an innovative manufacturer of high quality animal identification products. As an innovative supplier, Allflex is constantly designing and increasing their animal id products.  With increasing demand from end users for a complete and easy one-piece ear tag, Allflex has created the new A-Tag. Designed and manufactured with high quality plastic, the Allflex A-Tag provides cattlemen with a fast effective high quality identification product.  The A-Tag is similar in design and easy of application like the popular Z Tag one piece visual tag.  The new A-Tag is available in three sizes for Feedlot, cow, and calf. Like the traditional Allfex visual tags, the A-Tag is available as a blank tag or with custom printing.  The main advantage of the Allflex A-Tag is its unique one piece design, also with its self-piercing tip and fast application, the A-Tag causes less stress on the animal and faster healing.    You can access the Allflex A-Tag datasheet here.  The new cattle tag is part of the complete portfolio of Allflex animal identification products, that is back by industry knowledge and customer support. Copyright (C) 2012 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 3 October 2012 | 10:59 am

Sask. Government to Fund Cattle Traceability

The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture has announced it will continue and develop an animal identification incentive program for beef cattle producers. The purpose of the traceability program is to continue, further develop, and maintain the integrity of the Canadian Cattle Traceability program already in place. In further development of Canadian beef traceability, the Ministry of Agriculture will also provide special funding to the Saskatchewan Stock Growers Association to continue testing on cattle tag retention. Tags that are placed on animal’s ear are intended to remain for the life of the animal. Many cattle producers have reported that ear tags do fall out in a short period of time. One of the main tagging issues that have been raised by the cattle association had been cattle ear tag retention, and the cost of tag replacements. Ear tag retention is not only associated with CCIA approved ear tags; it deals with all basic visual and feedlot tags as well. There is a great article with basic tips on ear tag retention; you can read that article here. The overall effort is to continue the traceability program that is in place by the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) and continue the already successful traceability mandate by Canada, and all its stake holders, typically the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Animal Identification remains a high priority in Canada for health purposes, as well as the ability to compete on the global market place for imported beef and livestock. Canadian BeefCanadian cattle traceability is an ongoing effort, which Canada remains committed to, in terms of education, development, and marketing of Canadian Beef abroad. Canada and its individual provinces all have incentives of different forms, to help animal identification, from small beef cattle producers, to feedlots, and slaughter houses.The Livestock-ID blog has several blog posts with direct information and links to the various animal identification incentives and programs, which are beneficial to everyone. For Saskatchewan cattle producers, you can contact the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association for more information and assistance on traceability incentives. Resources for all cattle and animal identification within Canada are listed below. Animal Identification Resources: Improve Cattle Tag Retention Saskatchewan Livestock RFID Rebate Methods to Mark Visual Ear Tags 2012 List of CCIA Approved RFID Ear Tags 2012 List of CCIA Approved RFID Handheld Readers  Livestock-ID Newsletter If you're looking for more resources, search the blog search box, or contact me at anytime.  (C) Copyright 2012 Livestock-ID Animal Identification Resources

Posted on: 19 June 2012 | 1:20 pm

Methods of Marking Visual ID Ear Tags

Visual ID ear tags have become the most widely used form of animal identification, the cost benefits to a cattle, sheep or pig producer simply out weight the cost of the tags themselves. The practice of tagging cattle and sheep has come a long way, since it was first conceived as an option over branding in early 1950. Visual ID tags have also evolved as technology becomes more advance, and new uses of tags become available. Tags come in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and forms, each with its own benefits for its particular application. There are tags designed especially for feedlots, rotary tags for sheep and goats, insecticide tags for cattle, which provide an additional benefit of horn fly control, which runs rapid within livestock. There are three main methods of marking visual ear tags; each method has its own benefits and costs. Hot Foil Stamping: Hot foil stamping is the most effective process to ensure ear tags retain their visual marking. The process is done using heat and a press, which gives the tag an impression as well as ink. This leaves the tag with a permanent form of marking, with the impression of the tag ID on the tag, as well as the ink. Laser Printing: Laser printing of visual tags is another effective and permanent way of marking ear tags. The process is done with a laser beam heating the tag, which changes the color of the tag material, therefore making a permanent mark, which is always visible. Laser-Ink Printing: This is another process of marking visual tags, that is a patented process from Allflex, which is the same process as laser printing, with the ink added to the laser etching, which provides more of a permanent mark on visual or panel ID ear tags. Self Marking: Self marking tags, is the most cost effective form of marking a blank visual tag for cattle.  The best practice is to use a permanent marker, like a Sharpie to mark the visual tag. Some tag manufactures have their own unique markers, which are recommended; because of the ink formula is specially made to mark the blank tags. Although a Sharpie can be used as well, it is highly recommended to use high quality permanent markers, which are formulated to provide additional protection against weather conditions such as UV rays. By George Luker © Copyright 2012 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 4 January 2012 | 10:01 am

CCIA Approved RFID Handheld Readers

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) has a list of approved RFID tags and approved readers for the Canadian livestock industry. Both tags and readers have gone through field testing with pilot projects and are approved for the Canadian climate and requirements of the Canadian cattle industry. If you’re looking for the official list of CCIA Approved Tags, you can find the list here. CCIA Approved RFID Handheld Readers: Aleis 9030 RFID handheld reader, is the most advanced stand alone RFID reader on the market. Any animal event can be entered on the reader, in the field, without the need of a handheld device. Agrident AIR 100 RFID Reader, is an actual RFID reader module, that easily integrates with a Psion Teklogix Workabout Pro. The AIR 100 Ad-on readers provide a great solution to the Workabout Pro handhelds, where you can use mobile cattle or sheep management software. Agrident AIR 200 RFID Reader, is the same as the AIR 100 module, with the difference being its telescopic antenna. Agrident has three different versions of their telescopic antenna’s, including a handheld external antenna style stick. Agrident AWR RFID Stick Reader, is their most rugged RFID stick reader designed to be used in harsh environments. The AWR 200 reader comes with Bluetooth, the AWR 100 reader is just a straight stick reader, with serial connection.  Allflex RS250 RFID Stick Reader, the infamous grey stick, is one of Allflex’s cost effective basic RFID stick reader. The RS250 stick reader, is designed just to read tags, nothing more. If you’re looking for just a reliable reader to scan a tag only, this is the reader. Allflex RS320-3-60 Yellow Stick is an ISO RFID Stick Reader. The reader comes in two different sizes, with Bluetooth, or basic serial connection. The read has a memory of 5000 tags, its lightweight and ergonomically designed for easy use. The Allflex yellow stick RFID reader is the most popular stick reader on the market. Destron DTR-4 RFID Reader, also known as the paddle or wand reader, is a reliable reader with an added function, that no other reader has. The DTR-4 comes with Bluetooth, easy to read screen, and has the added function of Bio-Thermo technology, which reads internal temperature of an animal, with the Bio-Thermo LifeChips. Gallagher Smartreader HR3 RFID Reader, is a lightweight reader, with protective hand guard, and trigger action to read tags. Readers come with Bluetooth, and internal tag memory of 2000 tags. The HR3 has a bright LCD screen at the handle of the reader. Reader is Compatible with Gallagher SmartScale series scales. I.D. ology Lightning ROD RFID Reader, comes with Bluetooth, LCD screen, and the reader is lightweight. The reader has lightning fast connectivity with devices, and reconnects automatically, if the reader gets in and out of range with the connected device (Computer or Scale). All CCIA approved RFID handheld readers, read all CCIA Approved RFID tags, which include HDX and FDX-B ear tags, and injectable tags. The approved readers will read all popular RFID / EID ear tags, and leg tags from all major manufacturers, even ones, that are not on the CCIA approved tag list. The handheld wand and stick readers are all ISO RFID readers, reading the standard EID tag technology of ISO 11784 and 11785 Want more in-depth details on these animal ID readers? Join our Livestock ID newsletter for future issues, which will go into thorough detail on each reader. You can sign-up now here. Follow us on Twitter for updates. Livestock_ID By George Luker © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 28 October 2011 | 10:24 am

Cattle EID on the way for the UK

The UK farming industry welcomed the European Commissions’ proposal to move forward with Cattle EID. The EC made the announcement earlier this week on the need for bovine traceability, and also made recommendations for a much needed real time livestock database. In its proposal the European Commission recommended a voluntary electronic identification system for all cattle. Several European countries currently use a voluntary EID system for ranch management purposes, which also provides an existing platform of identification for movement of bovine through its borders. Members of the European Union mentioned that an implementation of a fully compliant EID system for cattle in the UK would strengthen the current traceability system for beef cattle and food products; making it faster and with accuracy. In order to move quickly and give UK cattle producers an incentive to use EID, the EU has urged the UK government to allocated funds for initial grants for EID traceability to the bovine industry. The grants would be needed for cattle producers to purchase the necessary hardware for EID management, which would initially be for RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) readers. Electronic identification (EID) tagging in sheep and goats in the UK has been mandatory since 2010, along with individual recording of each animal. What is an EID Tag? EID is an acronym for Electronic Identification, which is a term used for scanning or reading the identification number of an object with an electronic device or EID reader, which works the same way as a barcode scanner. EID uses RFID as the technology used to read the identification, like a barcode scanner, RFID uses radio frequency to read the identification of a tag. An EID tag is another term used for RFID tags, in this case an EID ear tag is the same as an RFID button tag or RFID ear tag. Bovine EID: Bovine EID would be the next logical step for a complete and accurate traceability system with agricultures most valued commodity. Bovine EID makes perfect sense in a country, where Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) also known as Mad Cows disease has the highest known cases for the fatal animal disease. When BSE was discovered in the UK, not only did it cause many deaths directly related from infected cattle, it also created a financial crises on the UK beef cattle industry. At the time of the outbreak, the UK had confirmed more than 180 000 cattle had been diagnosed with BSE, which resulted in an initial slaughter of over 4 million cattle, in an effort to eradicate the disease. © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 3 September 2011 | 9:05 pm

Livestock Insurance: How to get the Best Plan

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 and 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. Trainers Lessons Riding Areas Care Custody Control Employers Liability Wagon Rides Rodeos           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

Posted on: 11 August 2011 | 7:54 am

Branding Livestock for Animal Disease Traceability

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. Here 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? Want to stay in the loop with the current updates on animal disease traceability? Sign up for our newsletter. © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 29 July 2011 | 4:16 pm

Livestock-ID Newsletter Sign-up

Livestock-ID will soon be publishing its first edition of the newsletter, a reminder for all to sign-up today, and don’t get left behind. The Livestock-ID newsletter will have exclusive content, in-depth reports, and special manufacturer rebates and offer’s that are exclusive to subscribers only. Sign-up now and get the inside scoop on products, manufacturer rebates, and government rebates or incentives for animal identification.  The new NAIS (National Animal Identification System) which will be named “Animal Disease Traceability” will become mandatory soon, now is a better time than ever to sign-up for the Livestock-ID Newsletter. Additional Resources: USDA Animal Disease Traceability System A look at the proposed new NAIS, and potential requirements for animal identification. Approved USDA Cattle Ear Tags: 840 Tags is the current and up to date list of USDA approved and official 840 tags. Livestock-ID Newsletter Sign-up Livestock-ID, Animal Identification Resources © Copyright 2011

Posted on: 30 June 2011 | 3:38 pm

Press Release: Free Animal ID Resources

Keeping up to date with Animal identification, processes, regulations, and new technology can be a full time task on its own. Livestock-ID blog continues to provide full resources for livestock producers, from current news and information articles, to listing links to resources, such as free ear tags for livestock. You can read our current press release on free animal identification consulting. As we move forward with our blog, livestock producers and industry officials can stay current on topics such as animal disease traceability, new developments in products and services for livestock identification. Livestock-ID is in the process of creating a bi-weekly newsletter, which will provide more in-depth information on all aspects of animal identification. We invite you all the sign up for the newsletter, as it will provide additional content, which might not be available on our blog. The Livestock-ID newsletter is free and you can sign-up at anytime. Cattle producers continue to consult the Livestock-ID blog for up to date information on market issues, traceability implementation programs and more. Animal identification has many benefits, not only to the public sector, but to cattle and livestock producers. Implementing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) along with livestock management software can provide many cost reduction benefits for basic herd management. Press Release: Animal Identification 1st Year of Free Consulting. Sign-up for Livestock-ID Newsletter © 2011 Livestock-ID, Animal Identification Resources

Posted on: 27 June 2011 | 5:50 pm

Allflex USA Buys Destron Fearing Corp

Allflex USA, Inc. has increased its product portfolio in animal identification technology; with the newly acquired Destron Fearing Corporation (animal ID) subsidiary of Digital Angel Corp. Allflex USA has completed the acquisition for $25 million USD in cash. Digital Angel Corp. and its board of directors decided to sell off its animal ID division on the advice of independent investment consultants. The company had refused an offer of $17 million last year from PositiveID Corporation. Digital Angel will use the proceeds from the sale of Destron Fearing to concentrate on its core business of emergency identification solutions, which consist of rescue beacons. Destron Fearing also known simply as Destron has its products used globally in many applications such as pet identification for companion animals; using its patented FDA approved implantable microchips (glass transponders). Destron’s other applications include livestock identification and herd management, using visual and RFID ear tags. Destron also manufactures a full line of RFID readers from its popular DTR-4 handheld reader to fixed panel readers, all used for livestock identification of cattle, sheep, horses and swine. One of Destron’s most prized assets is its patents on implantable microchips, including BIO-THERMO LifeChip Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) microchip. There is also an approved Official 840 tag version of the LifeChip. The Bio-Thermo LifeChip is a unique asset for animal identification along with the added benefits of animal health. The most popular applications for the RFID temperature tags are companion animal id and equine identification. The implanted LifeChip allows an RFID reader to capture the animal’s body temperature, along with its unique identification. The benefit of reading real time temperature is the ability to identify a sick animal, and detect early stages of animal disease, prompting immediate action. There are only two RFID readers on the market with this patented technology to read Bio-Thermo LifeChip tags. Small animal veterinarians use a small AVID reader, and state veterinarians and ranchers use the Destron DTR-4 handheld reader. The DTR-4 is one of the most versatile handheld reader on the market, which reads all livestock ear tags from Allflex HDX and FDX ear tags to Destron EID tags, and Bio-Thermo LifeChip tags. The DTR-4 can also read real time body temperature, which is an advantage for equine identification. Allflex USA is a leader in design, manufacturing and technology for livestock identification products and management tools. Allflex identification products include visual identification tags, tamperproof tags, global management tags, feedlot tags, and RFID ear tags for EID systems. With the acquisition of Destron Fearing, Allflex USA now adds traceability and identification to animal health. © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 21 May 2011 | 12:31 am

USDA Animal Disease Traceability System

The USDA Animal Disease Traceability system is about to be released shortly. The new Animal ID Plan will then be reviewed, funded by congress, go through a question period, will be implemented and become mandatory to all livestock producers. Since the fall of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in Feb of 2010, the USDA had started at ground zero to create a new and improved animal ID plan. The focus and objective of the new ID program will be for animal disease traceability. Over the last year the USDA’s APHIS has conducted many public meetings with livestock industry officials to get feedback and share openly, ideas, concerns, and feasibility of a new animal identification system. The new animal disease traceability is about to be released anytime now, there are still a few pieces to the traceability system to be determined, the following is what has already been planned and has not changed and will be implemented as the basis of the new animal disease traceability plan. What Will Be the Foundation of Animal Disease Traceability? The animal disease traceability will be run by each state. Cattle and four other species will be identified, if they cross state lines. What Type of Ear Tags will be Mandatory for the Animal Disease Traceability System? This is not known yet, but speculation would be a low cost official 840 ear tags. Details have not been released yet concerning the actual tag requirements. RFID ear tags are the preferred choice of tag, to be used in conjunction with a state run traceability system. The USDA’s proposed framework for traceability would be to have a variety of tags to choose from, ranging from free brucellosis vaccination tags, which are applied by veterinarians, to other proposed management tags, that can be applied by livestock producers. Flexibility and ease of implementation is the message from the USDA’s APHIS, which is the reason that all states will be responsible to create and implement their own traceability programs, which will compliant with USDA guidelines for traceability. Why did the National Animal Identification System Fail in the Past? Many cattle and livestock producers were opposed to a national animal identification that would have been mandatory, citing costs and privacy issues, and wanted a voluntary system only. He USDA had considered a voluntary system only, but seen there would have been minimal participation, which inevitably defies the purpose of an animal traceability program. USDA began working on an animal identification system in the early 1990s. The traceability system was seen as a dire necessity after the 2003 disease outbreak, which the U.S. discovered three cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. The BSE confirmed animals stopped the U.S. Beef exports, and crippled the livestock industry to a standstill. The U.S. beef cattle industry is still feeling the repercussions from the BSE discovery of 2003. Beef exports have dropped considerably over the years, and this trend will continue because of increased import regulations from other countries. What Do you Think, Will the New Animal Disease Traceability System Work? The need for an animal disease traceability system is now, and the U.S. is already 10 years behind. This is still the current list of USDA Approved 840 Ear Tags. Animal Identification Newsletter: Livestock-ID newsletter sign up here for additional information on animal identification, tag incentive programs and more. By George Luker © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 8 May 2011 | 8:33 pm

APHIS: Animal Disease Traceability Meeting

Animal disease traceability will be the main discussion and topic on USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service meeting of the Secretary's Advisory Committee. The teleconference call will be a 5 hour meeting, which will discuss animal health matters and the traceability framework. The public is encouraged to participate in the meetings. APHIS Teleconference Meeting Details: First meeting will be on March 4, 2011, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. (EST) Dial-In: 888-790-3291 Passcode: 1411045 The other meetings will take place on May 13 and on July 15, which will be teleconferences as well, and will be open to the public. Public participation at these meetings will be listen only. Since the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was scraped in 2010, the APHIS has been holding public meetings and discussions on the proposed new traceability system, which will be the Animal disease traceability (ADT) system in the United States. APHIS will continue its planned and scheduled meetings this year, in an effort to discuss animal traceability, and the need to identify diseases in livestock. APHIS has spent most of 2010 developing the framework and structure for the proposed new Animal disease traceability, which is intended to be more flexible and producer friendly system, and at the same time providing reliable data for animal movement traceability. Individual states, tribes and producers will have a hands on approach to traceability, but must use ear tags and recording of individual animal ID’s to a centralized state maintained database. The end result must be a traceability framework, which will enable APHIS to react to animal disease outbreaks, in an effort to eradicate and quarantine livestock in the event of a reported outbreak. Minimizing cost and loss to producers and the livestock industry is the ultimate priority. By George Luker © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 28 February 2011 | 8:19 pm

Australian Cattle Recovery with RFID

Australia’s National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is adding more value and purpose beyond its original intent of tracking cattle diseases. Identifying cattle and livestock that have wandered off of farms is being done, quickly and efficiently since they are tagged with RFID ear tags. Cyclone Yasi that hit and went through north Queensland last week caused so much destruction in the small town and rural area. In the path of destruction are many farms, which have had fences and posts damaged by the cyclone. With the added damages all around, are wandering livestock in the streets and on properties of fellow farmers and neighbors. The National Livestock Identification System (NLIS) is helping in the recovery of wandering and stranded livestock, which now roam freely along streets, fields, and farms. Since all livestock like cattle and sheep have mandatory RFID ear tags, it is making identification of individual animals that much easier, and livestock are being returned to their rightful owners and farm of origin. RFID ear tags provide tamper proof identification, which cannot be manipulated, providing secure and reliable identification of livestock. Cattle and sheep have typical EID button tags, while horses have an implanted microchip for equine identification. All these different type of RFID tags provide the exact same purpose, unique identification. With natural disasters like cyclone Yasi that has hit Australia, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology along with a national database is proof that the system works. Australian cattlemen begin to round up livestock after cyclone Yasi. With the cattle recovery in process, this opens a Pandora’s Box on a possible animal disease epidemic. State veterinarians will be monitoring all livestock closely over the next few months for signs of diseases in cattle and sheep. © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 8 February 2011 | 2:28 pm

Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative

The Canadian livestock and cattle industry get a competitive boast to increase and implement full traceability, with a $20 million three year initiative from the government of Canada. The RFID incentive will further increase the Canadian livestock traceability system that is already in place to be EID compliant. Animal Identification is a vital part of Canada’s economic growth in the livestock market, both nationally and internationally. In order to keep competitive on the international market, and be compliant with increasing import regulations, the Canadian Cattle industry is working to be fully traceable, reliable, and accountable in all aspects of livestock traceability, from farm to fork. The Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative (LATI) is a three-year (2011-2014) program with funding from the Agricultural Flexibility Fund.   The Agricultural Flexibility Fund is a five-year (2009-2014), $500 million fund to help with the implementation of new initiatives, both federally and in partnership with provinces, territories and the livestock industry. The LATI will cover up to 80 percent of eligible project activities, up to a maximum of $100,000 per facility. The purpose of the Livestock Auction Initiative is to upgrade current facilities and implement RFID panel readers in new ones. All the hardware and software needed to capture the tag EID’s in feedlots is the main priority since this is where the most cattle are assembled and co mingle from different farm of origins. The need to accurately identify individual cattle as they enter and leave the premises is a major requirement. RFID panel readers are the recommended choice of RFID readers for high traffic areas, such as feedlots and auction marts. The LATI will cover most costs of the readers, training to use them, construction and building materials needed to house and run the readers as well as software and related costs to implement an RFID system. The Livestock Auction Traceability Initiative is for the following: Live animal auction marts Feedlots Backgrounders Privately managed community pastures Animal Assembly Yards Fairs and Exhibits Since 2004 the Canadian cattle industry has been using RFID technology to track animal movements across the country. RFID tagging of Cattle is mandatory at farm of origin, before cattle leave the herd of origin. Full use of Approved Canadian Cattle RFID tags became mandatory as of January 2010 . Like many other countries, Canada had chosen Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to implement a full traceable system. Using RFID cattle tags gives the Canadian Cattle Traceability system the security and integrity of exact identification of individual cattle and its movements. Additional Resources and Links: Approved Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tags Information on how to apply for the program: LATI Program Guide © Copyright 2011 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 7 February 2011 | 2:42 pm

Alberta Age Verification Incentive Program

Alberta beef cattle producers are eligible for a full rebate or incentive up to $3 per RFID ear tag. This is part of the Age Verification Incentive Program, where Alberta beef cattle producers are encouraged to age and source verify their cattle. The program is part of Alberta’s initiative to give beef cattle producers an incentive to age verify and tag their cattle with CCIA approved RFID ear tags. Important Note: The ear tag rebate and incentive is only valid on CCIA approved RFID ear tags. Age and source verification is an important part of the Canadian livestock traceability system. The government of Alberta has created the Age Verification Incentive Program; to encourage Alberta beef producers to age verify their livestock. Since the AVIP uses CCIA Approved RFID ear tags, they offer a rebate up to $3.00 per tag. Participating in the age and source verification adds to the integrity of the CCIA Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS), with an up to date and accurate database of animal identification with age and source verification. With complete participation of the age and source verification program, the Alberta cattle industry protects itself against the vulnerability of an animal disease outbreak, that can’t be traced back to its origin. Canada and Alberta’s BSE Surveillance Program needs to be able to react quickly in identifying the animals, its movements and source of origin. There are two ways to receive the discount on the RFID tags in the first year. (2010) Livestock producers can claim an immediate discount at the point of sale; a form will need to be filled out, which all participating tag dealers have available. A downloadable version is available below. The information the producer will need to provide at the time of purchase is listed below. A valid CCIA account number Legal business name Contact Information The number of calves has or will age-verify from the calving year being calculated for the incentive-discount and The number of tags that the producers has already requested or received a reimbursement or discount for under this program. Example: In 2010, producers will be reporting on the number of calves from their 2009 calving season. Producers who have already purchased radio frequency identification (RFID) tags between January 2009 and July 2010 are eligible for the incentive rebate. Producers must apply directly to Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Fill out the Age-Verification Incentive Program Application and mail it in to the address on the form, remember to have copies of the tag receipts for which the reimbursement is being applied to. Additional Resources and Links: Age Verification Incentive Program Application Alberta Ear Tag Dealers List of Approved CCIA RFID Ear Tags Allflex USA Company Profile Website: Government of Alberta: Agriculture and Rural Development  Tel: 780-643-1572 Fax: 780-422-3655 Copyright © Livestock-ID

Posted on: 19 November 2010 | 1:25 pm

Allflex USA, Inc.: Company Profile

Allflex USA, Inc. also simply known as Allflex is a company that manufactures livestock identification products, such as visual ear tags, RFID button ear tags, RFID microchips, RFID readers, and various marking products for the livestock industry. Allflex is known as a world leader in technology and manufacturing of livestock identification products, for individual animal identification management. Allflex manufactures a wide range of animal identification products such as visual ear tags, RFID ear tags, and injectable microchips. They also manufacture a wide range of RFID readers for animal identification and traceability. Other products in their portfolio for animal identification also include tattoo marking systems. Syringes for bottle feed and vaccines and drenchers for spray-on applications are also produced. Allflex is one of only a few manufacturers that are approved for official government traceability programs around the world; Countries such as United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom to name a few. Ear tags and microchips that are official approved 840 tags. Brief Company Information: Allflex originally started in New Zealand in 1955, the original name of the company was Delta Plastics. John Burford and Brian Murphy were dairy farmers looking for a durable marking solution for their livestock. The companies strength has always been hands on experience and development of latest technology.  Additional Resources and links: Website: Allflex USA  Phone: 1-800-989-TAGS (8247) Email: Lori Braden USA: Official Approved 840 Ear Tags Canada: Approved Canadian Cattle RFID Ear Tags Copyright 2010 © Livestock-ID

Posted on: 11 November 2010 | 11:39 am

Canadian Cattle: Angus Cattle Drink Wine

Canadian cattle producers in western Canada have a unique way of adding value to their beef. Angus cattle in British Columbia’s Okanagan region are getting a supplement with their feed, which is red wine. Okanagan is British Columbia’s wine and cattle region for the province. Giving red wine to Angus cattle has added benefits and added value for Angus producers in the wine region. Angus cattle in British Columbia have the added value of RFID ear tags for traceability, age and source verification, for background and animal movements, and wine for added flavor and texture of the meat. Chefs in the Pacific Coast province said the wine additive to the cattle provides a unique beef taste. The idea of giving wine to Angus cattle is the brain child of Janice Ravndahl of Kelowna British Columbia’s Sezmu Meats. Ravndahl claims the beef produced has an enhanced flavor, the marbling is finer and the fat tastes like candy. Ravandahl thought of the idea of giving wine to cattle, after watching a TV show on beer swilling pigs. Since Okanagan is one of Canada’s premier wine regions, it is the perfect place to get cattle on the bottle, and cost savings of buying direct from wineries. Some of the added benefits to the producer are cattle which are less tensed and relaxed, produce finer meat, along with the unique test and marbling of the meat. The cattle get 1 bottle of red wine per day, along with their usual feed. Ravandahl said there is a noticeable difference in the temperament of the cattle, as they are more calm and relaxed in their environment. To read more about the Angus cattle on red wine, please see the news release: Canadian Cattle Enjoy Red Wine. © Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 3 September 2010 | 9:35 am

Kansas Animal Traceback System

  Animal Traceback system in the works was the message from Bill Brown of the Kansas Livestock Association last week, while speaking at the Beef Fest Producers Seminar. The Animal Traceback system will be voluntary, except for the provision of animal movements, where the identification of livestock will be mandatory under the Animal Disease Traceability framework, which is expected to be implemented in 2013. Identification for the program will range from orange calfhood vaccination tags to RFID ear tags. Livestock producers will have a choice of livestock tags to choose from, that will be applicable and compliant for both the Animal Traceaback System and Animal Disease Traceability program. Brown mentioned the program will be state-run, with oversight from USDA. Animal health officials and state veterinarians are working side by side to standardize the traceback systems. Kansas working group consisting of producers, feeders along with other animal interests will provide input on how the program should be structured. The Kansas Animal Health Department is in the process of implementing an information management system to track livestock, which eight states already have the system in place. The objective of this system is to protect producer confidentiality, which is an industry concern and priority. As each state creates and implements its own animal traceback system, it must have the ability to link to the USDA Animal Disease Traceability system for the proposed mandatory identification of interstate animal movements. For the effectiveness of the Animal Disease Traceability system, it is expected that only approved USDA 840 tags would be used. 840 approved tags are country of origin compliant (COOL) which are the visual and RFID ear tags. Additional Resources: USDA Approved 840 Tags How to Improved RFID Tag Retention USDA: Animal Disease Traceability Animal Tracking with EID: COOL Animal ID For more details on the Kansas Animal Traceback System, please visit their website: Kansas Livestock Association © Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 26 August 2010 | 12:01 pm

USDA: Animal Disease Traceability

The USDA will be conducting a series of public meetings to discuss the new Animal Disease Traceability system, which will be replacing the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) that was scrapped earlier this year. The purpose of the meetings is to allow the cattle industry and general public a chance to give their input on the traceability regulation, performance and standards that are currently being developed. The meeting objective is to review and clarify the current new framework. Discuss the approaching of performance based regulations, deliberate performance standards, and concepts being developed by the regulatory working group.  The Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) along with a regulatory working group representative will give three presentations. State Perspective on Animal Disease Traceability: Share the perspective and usefulness of Animal Disease Traceability state wide and nationally. Animal Disease Traceability Framework: Share the new components and concepts of the traceability framework with the livestock industry and general public. Report of The Regulatory Working Group: A representative of the regulatory working group will discuss the process involving the new traceability framework and proposed rule being considered. After the presentations there will be small group sessions with discussions that will be shared with the group as a whole. Meeting participants will be asked to discuss their ideas of USDA and the Traceability Regulatory Working Group regarding the Animal Disease Traceability regulation and performance standards. Questions will be asked around the following topics: Feedback on the preliminary traceability performance standards. Suggestions related to implementing the Animal Disease Traceability framework. Details and dates of the meetings are available at the USDA website: Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service The USDA plans to have the Animal Disease Traceability system implemented by 2013.  © Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 26 August 2010 | 12:01 pm

USDA Declared Farmers Market Week

This week is declared National Farmers Market week. As officially declared by Thomas Vilsack from the USDA for The week of August 1-7 2010. USDA Full listing of Farmers Markets. This is a great opportunity to discover your local farmers market and support local farmers with the purchase of fresh produce, cheeses, and meats. The farmers market has long been a tradition for many families, as the best source for farm to plate freshness. The farmers market has always been the best place to buy homemade products like fresh baked bread, choice cuts of fresh meats, sausages, and ready to cook food for your BBQ. Make it a family day, and visit your local farmers market, treat yourself to the goodness of farm fresh products, and give your local farmers your support. © Copyright 2010 Livestock-ID

Posted on: 2 August 2010 | 2:02 pm