USDA provides RFID ear tags for cattle

The Agriculture Department has provided radio frequency ear tags that comply with its National Animal Identification System (NAIS) to help animal health officials control bovine tuberculosis in livestock. The tags allow animal health officials to electronically identify an animal to inhibit the illness' spread, USDA said April 15.

Distributing the tags is part of the agency's strategy from its Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. NAIS-compliant tags that use the official 840 numbering system provide for individual identification of livestock through a 15-digit number.

The goal is to link the cattle to their place of origin so that if there is an outbreak, officials can quickly track the movement of infected animals, USDA said. Bovine tuberculosis investigations are under way in several states.

RFID technology increases the accuracy of recording the animal's identification number, USDA said, adding that it has bought 1.5 million tags.

“Using NAIS-compliant tags with RF technology establishes a consistent data format across our animal disease programs,” said Bruce Knight, USDA's undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

USDA shipped 28,000 tags to California as part of an ongoing bovine tuberculosis investigation, he said.

NAIS is an information system that helps producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to events affecting animal health in the United States. It uses premises registration, animal identification and animal tracing components to locate potentially diseased animals and eliminate animals from disease suspicion. It is a state/federal/industry partnership and is voluntary at the federal level.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.