APHIS Announces Plans for Free Scrapie Tags

APHIS Announces Plans For Free Scrapie Tags in 2019-20

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will provide a limited number of free, plastic tags to first-time participants in the sheep and goat identification program through Fiscal Year 2020, according to an official bulletin from the agency in early March.

APHIS is working with the sheep and goat organizations to transition toward electronic identification to improve the nation’s ability to quickly trace exposed and diseased animals in the event of an outbreak. The goal is to start to transition to electronic identification by fall 2020.

Currently, APHIS will provide up to 80 plastic flock ID tags, free-of-charge, to qualifying producers. APHIS will discontinue the availability of no-cost metal tags for producers. Dealers and markets may continue to receive metal serial tags at no cost. The no-cost metal tags previously provided to producers will be phased out in summer 2019, when the currently obligated funding is expended. During the phase out, APHIS will continue to provide, upon request, up to 100 serial metal tags free of charge to producers (either regular orange metal serial tags or blue slaughter-only metal serial tags) who haven’t received APHIS-provided tags within the previous 24 months. For those that use the APHIS-provided tags, please note that you also need an applicator, as well.

Producers and others who handle sheep or goats in commerce who need additional tags or want a different type of tag may purchase official plastic, metal or radio-frequency identification tags directly from approved tag manufactures. A flock or Premises ID is required to order tags from these sources.

To request official sheep and goat tags, a flock ID or both, call 1-866-USDA-Tag (866-873-2824). The 505S applicator for the official metal tags is available for purchase from the National Band and Tag Company (NationalBand.com/scrapie-tags-and-applicators/) at 859-261-2035. The “Allflex Universal Tagger” for application of the plastic tags provided by APHIS is available for purchase from multiple sources, including directly from Allflex at 833-727-2743.

For a list of approved sheep and goat tag manufacturers, visit: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/sheep-and-goat-health/national-scrapie-eradication-program/ct_to_order_ear_tags.

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