LANSING, Mich. – To help protect the health of Michigan’s livestock and promote food security, officially identifying animals has been an essential practice. A new interactive map on the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MDARD) website is now available to help producers find local retailers and auction markets that sell one particular form of official identification: 840 radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for larger livestock species.
Official identification tags are defined as having a unique animal number, being tamper resistant and bearing the U.S. shield. The 840 RFID tags may be applied to bison, cattle, privately-owned deer and swine.
More specifically, bison and cattle must have 840 RFID tags to leave a Michigan premises, unless they are moved directly to an approved tagging site where 840 RFID tags can be purchased and applied. Privately-owned deer must have 840 RFID tags plus secondary identification to leave a Michigan premises. Swine must have a form of official identification (of which the 840 RFID tags are one of the available options) when presented for exhibition, such as a jackpot show or county fair. The 840 RFID tags are also an option for identifying swine before they enter a livestock auction market, buying station, or collection point.
By using 840 RFID tags or other forms of official identification, animal health and food security are enhanced by allowing for greater traceability, the capability of following an individual animal over time from its herd of origin to its current location. Using official identification, state animal health officials can trace animals during a disease event within minutes to hours, enabling them to rapidly stop the spread of disease. Tracing animals without official identification can take days, weeks or even months to complete, which allows the spread of disease to additional herds.
To purchase any form of official identification, a national premises identification number (PIN) of the property where the animals are housed is required. To obtain a national PIN, call MDARD’s Atlanta Field Office at 888-565-8626.
For more information on Michigan’s animal identification and movement requirements, please visit www.mi.gov/animalimport.