The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service has implemented a key strategy from its Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability by providing National Animal Identification System compliant "840" radio frequency eartags to animal health officials for use in the bovine tuberculosis control program. NAIS-compliant "840" tags provide for individual identification of livestock through a 15-digit number beginning with the U.S. country code. Through the use of radio frequency identification technology, the "840" tags allow animal health officials to electronically identify an animal. This increases the efficiency of animal disease investigations that involve the tracing of exposed and potentially infected animals. USDA has purchased 1.5 million "840" RF animal identification tags to support animal disease control programs, including the bovine TB and brucellosis programs.
"Using NAIS-compliant tags with RF technology establishes a consistent data format across our animal disease programs. It will also increase the efficiency and accuracy of the on-ground animal health task force conducting bovine TB testing and response," says Bruce Knight, undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs. "This effort supports a key strategy outlined in our business plan and is another step toward reaching NAIS's ultimate goal of 48-hour traceability."