Animal Identification

Frequently Asked Questions:
The following information is provided to assist dairy cattle exhibitors to determine the best course of action given USDA rules regarding official animal identification and World Dairy Expo’s health check-in process. We encourage exhibitors to review this section often as updates will be posted on a regular basis. 

Common abbreviations are listed here with their meaning:

ADT Animal Disease Traceability
AIN Animal Identification Number
CVI Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (animal health papers)
ICVI Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (animal health papers)
ID Identification
NUES National Uniform Eartagging System (vaccination “Bangs” tags, Brite or silver tags)
PIN Premises identification number
RFID Radio Frequency Identification Device
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
WDE World Dairy Expo

Top 5 Recommended Exhibitor Practices to be in Compliance with World Dairy Expo’s 2019 health check-in identification standard.

  1. Tag all show and sale animals likely to attend World Dairy Expo with a WDE accepted 15 digit form of ID
  2. When making entries, you will be required to provide a WDE accepted form of ID, be prepared to include this required 15-digit number for each animal entry
  3. Have your veterinarian record each animal’s 15 digit number on the ICVI/CVI you plan to bring to World Dairy Expo (health certificates completed within 30 days before WI entry)
  4. Make sure the 15 digit number recorded on the ICVI/CVI matches the number in the animal’s ear
  5. Make sure the ICVI/CVI travels with the cattle to World Dairy Expo. Cattle will not be allowed to off-load without an accurately completed ICVI/CVI 

What forms of animal identification are accepted for the health check-in process at World Dairy Expo?

A Canadian Cattle identification Agency (CCIA) Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) tag    15 digit number starting with 124
A USDA AIN RFID tag        15 digit number starting with 840
A USDA AIN Visual tag        15 digit number starting with 840

A Manufacturer Coded RFID tag

*NOTE: Manufacturer coded RFID tags were discontinued as official ID by USDA starting in 2015. However, tags applied before March 11, 2015 will be recognized for the life of the animal.

15 digit number starting with 900, 982, or 985

What is required for the health check-in process at World Dairy Expo?
An accurately completed ICVI or CVI listing each animal by one of World Dairy Expo’s accepted 15 digit identification methods. According to the ADT rule, registration numbers and tattoos will no longer be official forms of identification for interstate transport. NOTE: The 15 digit tag number on the health certificate must match the tag number in the ear of the animal.

Why does World Dairy Expo not accept alternate forms of identification, such as NUES tags (vaccination “Bangs” tags, Brite or silver tags), American ID tags, tattoos, breed registration numbers, etc., for the health check-in process?
In accordance with the ADT rule, some alternate ID methods noted above are no longer recognized as official ID for interstate transport and/or will be phased out in 24 months. At the March 4, 2013 World Dairy Expo Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Committee meeting, action was taken defining accepted forms of ID for the health check-in process.

Exhibitors are reminded that in addition to the health check-in process there is a show check-in process conducted at World Dairy Expo. Registration numbers, tattoos, American ID tags will be utilized for this equally important check-in process.  

Specifically, why doesn’t World Dairy Expo accept USDA National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) tags (vaccination “Bangs” tags, Brite or silver tags) for the health check-in process?
At the March 4, 2013 World Dairy Expo Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Committee meeting, members decided which forms of animal ID they would accept and those which they would not accept for the health check-in process. NUES tags were not supported because of anticipated inefficiencies. The Dairy Cattle Exhibitor Committee endorsed forms of identification which make the health check-in process efficient. Three of four WDE accepted health check-in identification methods allow for electronic scanning, which greatly improves efficiency. For tags which must be physically read, committee members concluded it is easier to read an 840 AIN Visual tag than a NUES tag.

What are World Dairy Expo’s health check-in identification requirements for Wisconsin cattle?
All cattle, including those from Wisconsin, must meet the same World Dairy Expo health check-in identification standard.

Can World Dairy Expo suggest suppliers of the types of tags it is accepting for the health check-in process?
For U.S. exhibitors needing USDA AIN tags, Datamars, Inc., Temple, TX, is providing up to ten (10) 840-series RFID tag sets per exhibitor. A premise ID is required. Contact April Walker directly to obtain your tags. April can be reached by email or by phone at (254) 598-3452. Or order directly via the Datamars website. The deadline to order tags is August 16, 2019

Your breed association representative has access to tags World Dairy Expo accepts for health check-in and can help you make the appropriate selection. If you opt to purchase tags from a supplier, we suggest you contact an approved 840 AIN tag distributor and secure 840 AIN RFID tags.

USDA tag supplier reference: 
Canadian tag supplier reference:  

What can I do now to prepare for World Dairy Expo’s health check-in identification standard?

  • Become familiar with the USDA Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule:
  • Purchase appropriate tags and application device and tag all potential animals that will be entered for World Dairy Expo in 2019. This must be done in advance of submitting entries for World Dairy Expo.  All Entries for the 2019 Expo REQUIRE the AIN 15-digit attached ID with entry.
  • Visit with your breed association representative regarding future options for registration which may incorporate World Dairy Expo accepted forms of ID.

What will happen if cattle arrive at World Dairy Expo and are not accompanied by an accurately completed ICVI or CVI?
Cattle will remain on the trailer until an accurately completed ICVI/CVI is presented.

Assuming a completed ICVI/CVI is presented, but cattle do not possess accepted WDE health check-in identification ---What will happen then?
For cattle that have an accepted form of identification according to the ADT rule for interstate transport, exhibitors will be required to obtain and apply a WDE accepted form of ID. In order to be on grounds all cattle, including WDE sanctioned sale cattle must meet World Dairy Expo’s health check-in identification standard.

Is there a protocol governing which of the animal’s ears specific tags should be located?
Yes. The right ear is considered the official ear and the left ear the non-official or farmer/producer ear. Right and left is determined from the perspective of standing behind the animal.

Is there a protocol governing the placement of tags within an animal’s ear?
Yes. See illustration for typical tag placement. For exhibitors of colored breed cattle with tattoos, World Dairy Expo recommends those tagging cattle to determine a placement that will not obscure or make unreadable, an important official identification number for show check-in purposes. Depending upon where a breed tattoo is already located, it may be necessary to place an accepted WDE-defined ID tag  for health check-in, in the left ear.

I understand there is a statement in the USDA ADT rule which reads, “If an animal is already officially identified then you should not apply another official tag.” Is World Dairy Expo advising me to do something unlawful by tagging an animal again if she already has official ID?
In accordance with the ADT rule, an 840 AIN RIFD tag may be applied to an animal that is already officially identified with NUES and/or American ID tags.

Should I remove tags from an animal’s ears?
No. World Dairy Expo does not recommend tags of any kind be removed. Exhibitors that have used American ID tags for registration purposes should not remove these tags, even though World Dairy Expo does not accept this form of ID for health check-in purposes. For show check-in, these tags tie the animal to her registration paper.

How does a USA dairy producer/exhibitor obtain a premises identification number (PIN)?
Contact your state Department of Agriculture for assistance. To purchase USDA 840 AIN tags, dairy producers/exhibitors must provide their PIN. USDA requires that 840 AIN tags be assigned to a premises for traceability.