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APHIS Tests Radio Tags for Animal ID

Ag agency looking at high-tech ways to track animal disease in some cases.

USDA may soon use radio frequency ear tags to replace the conventional ear tags it uses in some animal disease programs. A USDA statement today reported that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is reviewing several proposals for the production and delivery of 1.5 million radio frequency ear tags that are compliant with the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) standards.

The ear tags will be used to uniquely identify U.S. livestock that are part of current animal disease programs, in particular within geographic regions where bovine tuberculosis testing and the brucellosis calfhood vaccination program are most active, the APHIS statement reported. 

"Using these animal identification number tags with radio frequency ID technology enhances the accuracy of animal identification and increases the program administration efficiencies," said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for USDA's marketing and regulatory programs. "Most importantly, it puts us a step closer to our goal of rapid traceback when an animal disease outbreak occurs."

Source: Feedstuffs

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