Official ID for importing cattle and bison into Minnesota
Official identification is an ear tag approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that displays a nationally unique number for each individual animal. Similar to a social security number, official identification tags provide the Minnesota Board of Animal Health a way to track a specific animal in a disease investigation. That speed and efficiency in tracking can prove valuable in reducing the spread of disease.
See the following diagram for tag-placement guidelines.
840 RFID and Non-RFID Tag
840-series Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags offer the latest technology in conventional identification. 840 tags are comprised of 15 digits; 840 are the first three digits (numeric code for USA). In addition to visual labeling of an animal, RFIDs allow for wireless scanning of tags that can be downloaded to a computer or a hand-held device. You can use a button or bangle tag. Not all 840 tags are RFID, those without are also considered official. Producers need a premises number in order to purchase these tags. Please contact the Board to obtain one.
Manufacturer RFID Tags
Manufacturer RFID tags beginning with the characters ‘USA’ or the numeric code assigned to the manufacturer by the International Committee on Animal Recording (ICAR) are currently being accepted as official ID. Examples of these numeric codes are 982 and 985. Only ear tags applied prior to March 11, 2015 will be considered official. Producers are asked to discontinue use of these tags as soon as possible.
The National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) is a USDA approved numbering system that is most commonly used on metal tags. Some states, such as Minnesota, also utilize the NUES approved system for small plastic bangle eartags. All NUES tags that have been approved as official by USDA are acceptable for import into Minnesota. Two examples are below:
USDA Brucellosis "Bangs" Metal Tag
Orange metal ear tags are placed in the ears of cattle after they have been vaccinated for brucellosis. Accredited veterinarians are the only individuals that can use this tag.
American ID Number Tags
American identification number tamper-evident tags that begin with the prefix 'USA' and are followed by either 8 or 9 digits are considered official identification in cattle or bison tagged prior to 03/11/2015. However, tags meeting this description that are placed after 03/11/2015 are not official for interstate movement and we encourage producers to discontinue use of these tags as soon as possible. Cattle/bison moving interstate using these tags must have the entire tag number including the 'USA' documented on all required documentation related to movement.
Breed Registry Tattoo with Registration Certificate
Cattle and bison entering Minnesota may use a breed registry tattoo as official identification if a copy of the registration certificate is attached to the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection.