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USDA approves four extra ID tags

The US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has approved several new visual identification tags:  three individual animal identification 840 tags from Destron Fearing/Digital Angel, where 840 represents the US country code, and one premises identification tag from Allflex.

In USDA's National Animal Identification System (NAIS), identification tags and devices are used to provide a greater level of animal traceability in the event of an animal disease outbreak.

“Animal traceability during a disease outbreak is important to protecting this country's livestock industry--and animal identification is a key component of traceability,” said Bruce Knight, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programmes. 

“By providing producers with a wide variety of approved identification devices, they can choose to identify their animals with the device that works best for their operation, while at the same time increasing traceability.”

The premises identification tag from Allflex of Dallas, Texas, is designed for use in slaughter swine.  There are now two slaughter swine premises tag options available. With the addition of these four new visual tags, producers participating in NAIS can choose from 26 different devices made by 8 manufacturers. 

More than just identification
They have the option of visual 840 tags, RFID 840 tags, or RFID 840 injectable transponders for individual animal identification of animals born in the US. The 840 tags can be used for more than just identification--they may be used for animal health programmes, movement records, marketing programmes, breed registries and genetic programmes.  The 840 tags can also be used to document an animal's origin when meeting country-of-origin labelling requirements. 

NAIS is a modern, streamlined information system that helps producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to animal health events in the United States.  The programme consists of three parts:  premises registration, animal identification and tracing.  So far, more than 487,670 premises across the country have been registered as part of the programme, and more than 5 million 840 devices have been shipped from the manufacturers.

Only APHIS-approved manufacturers are authorised to manufacture official animal identification devices for use in NAIS. 

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