Moving Cattle Within Minnesota
Q & A for Cattle Producers
What is official ID for cattle and bison?
Nine-digit tags beginning with ‘41’, 15-digit tags beginning with ‘840’, ‘982’ or ‘985’, breed registry tattoos or other forms of ID as approved by the Board of Animal Health. Registered tattoos must be accompanied by breed registration number. Call the Board at 651-296-2942 for more information.
Check out our guide to Official ID for cattle and bison.
What cattle must be officially identified?
Breeding cattle, rodeo cattle and all cattle for exhibition. Breeding cattle are all cattle except:
- Heifers of beef breed less than 18 months of age maintained for feeding purposes
- Bulls under ten months maintained for feeding purposes
- Steers and spayed heifers
When do cattle need to be officially identified?
Breeding cattle, rodeo cattle and all exhibition cattle require official identification when they are being imported into Minnesota, or moving out of a herd.
Breeding cattle do not need to be identified if they are:
- Consigned to a state/federal approved auction market
- Moving directly to slaughter
- Moving directly to a slaughter-only handling facility
How can I obtain official ID?
The Board is offering free eartags to veterinarians and cattle and bison farmers. You can order tags online or call the Board at 651-296-2942 to place your order.
Do I need to keep records?
Yes, if animals move into or out of your herd. Records are required to be kept for five years and should include the date of movement, any official ID numbers, the type of animal, and the name and address of any other person or party involved in the transaction.
Records for feeders can be kept and organized by group or lot numbers.
Do I need to send my records in or report animal movements to the Board?
Are buffalo (bison) subject to this rule?
Yes, bison must meet the same ID and record keeping requirements as cattle.