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Illinois offers free EID tags for cattle compliance

Illinois offers free EID tags for cattle compliance

By Andi Anderson

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in cooperation with state animal health officials and the industry, has developed a comprehensive Animal Disease Traceability Program. This initiative aims to ensure that all animals are officially identified and traceable from farm to harvest, enhancing the response to animal diseases and minimizing economic impacts.

On April 26, 2024, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) announced the final rule to augment the traceability of certain cattle and bison across state lines. Set to take effect 180 days after its publication in the Federal Register, this rule is a crucial step towards more robust animal disease management.

A significant update in the rule is the mandatory use of electronic identification (EID) tags as the official identifier for all sexually intact cattle and bison aged 18 months and older. This requirement also applies to all dairy cattle and those used for rodeo, recreation, or exhibition.

These electronic IDs will allow visual and electronic reading, although visual ear tags already applied will continue to be valid for the animal's lifetime.

The rule modifies the definition of dairy cattle to include any cattle used in milk or dairy production, regardless of age, sex, or current use. This broader definition ensures a comprehensive approach to traceability.

To support the industry's transition to electronic tagging, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) is offering complimentary 840 electronic tags. These are available for pickup during regular office hours, with a nominal shipping fee for orders requiring delivery.

Adherence to these new regulations is crucial for participation in state-level agricultural showcases. The IDOA mandates that all cattle and swine presented at the Illinois State Fair and Du Quoin State Fair must be tagged with 840 tags. Exhibitors must arrange for these tags and the necessary veterinary inspections before fair entry.

The program emphasizes premises identification, assigning unique numbers to animal agriculture locations, which is voluntary and free. This helps share crucial information with the USDA for efficient disease tracing during emergencies.

Complete the Registration Form and submit it via email, fax, or mail. Once registered, you will receive a premises identification number (PIN) certificate by mail or email.

For producers and veterinarians interested in compliance or further details, the IDOA Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare remains a crucial resource. They can be reached via email at or by phone at 217.782.4944.

This proactive step by the USDA not only secures animal health but also fortifies the agricultural industry against future disease outbreaks.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-ahavelaar

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Categories: Illinois, Livestock, Beef Cattle, Dairy Cattle

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