USDA proposal would make RFID devices official ear tags for cattle


Under a new proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, radio frequency identification (RFID) devices would be the official way to tag cattle and bison by 2023.

RFID tags allow the USDA to more quickly and efficiently track animal movement if there was an outbreak of a livestock disease.

“A strong traceability system is absolutely essential to maintaining international markets for Kentucky and U.S. cattle,” Kentucky state vet Dr. Robert Stout told the Lane Report.

Under the proposal, beef cattle 18 months and older, beef cattle used for rodeo, beef cattle used for shows, female dairy cattle and male dairy cattle born after March 11, 2013 would all require RFID tags.

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service would allow some animals that already have metal tags to be grandfathered in for the rest of their life.

The agency is taking public comment through Oct. 5, you can learn more here.