The Indiana State Board of Animal Health is offering a limited number of free radio frequency identification tags for cattle farmers.
The plastic RFID tags are used to track cattle movements and will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
“Electronic identification is a positive step to enhance our ability to trace animal diseases that could impact human or animal health or our state’s economy,” Indiana State Veterinarian Dr. Bret D. Marsh said in a press release. “In recent years, BOAH has seen a significant increase in the use of RFID tags in cattle, and we encourage producers to continue making the shift away from metal tags towards RFIDs.”
Livestock owners can request the tags for their breeding cattle at the BOAH website. The tags are free, but cattle farmers will be required to maintain records of all cattle movements for five years, including official ID tag numbers.
BOAH said recordkeeping with RFID allows veterinarians to complete cattle traces in less than 6 minutes, a much shorter amount of time than usually required. That could lead to a faster response time if a disease event threatens the state’s cattle population and agricultural economy, the board said.