Sheep Identification

Individual animal identification is important for record keeping and data collection to better manage animal performance and management of animals. Animal identification is the primary element of any livestock traceability system.

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), National Scrapie Eradication Program, is providing up to 100 plastic flock ID tags free-of-charge, to first time participants in the sheep and goat identification program through fiscal year (FY) 2021 or until the available funds are expended.

To request official sheep tags, a flock or premises ID or both, call 1-866-USDA-Tag (866-873-2824).

Electronic ID

Electronic identification (EID) also referred to as Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) is becoming increasingly popular for the livestock sector. EID systems use Radio Frequency (RF) technology to read and transmit animal identification numbers wirelessly.

Electronic ID Transition Working Group

Animal identification and animal disease traceability systems are hot topics in the livestock community today.

Concerned that the USDA will at some future time impose a plan of their own for the sheep industry, in 2020, the ASI Animal Health Committee convened a small working group of diverse and knowledgeable industry representatives and subject matter experts to develop a blueprint for transitioning the sheep industry toward electronic ID. The group is led by ASI Animal Health Committee Co-Chairs, Dr. Jim Logan and Dr. Cindy Wolf.

Sheep Identification & Animal Disease Traceability Systems Survey

In 2021, ASI conducted an online survey of more than 500 sheep producers to gather information on industry animal ID practices and perceptions regarding a national animal disease traceability system. Read more about the survey in the links below.

Historical Efforts

Sheep Identification Working Group 2004

A group of industry leaders, led by Dr. Cindy Wolf, co-chair of the ASI Animal Health Committee, convened to develop a well-defined implementation phase-in plan for sheep identification that is consistent with the established standards and goals of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).