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USDA Approves of First Swine Visual Tag

by 5m Editor
27 June 2008, at 10:12am

MINNESOTA - Digital Angel, an advanced technology company in the field of animal identification and emergency identification solutions, announced today that its Destron Fearing unit has received approval from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Premises Identification Number (PIN) tags for identification of swine entering harvest channels.


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"Having premises identified is the first step in improving the animal health infrastructure of the country. The availability of USDA-approved tags for market sows is a logical next step toward enhancing traceability and improving the industry’s ability to detect diseases earlier so the spread of a disease can be limited efficiently."
Patrick Webb, Director of swine health programs for the National Pork Board

This is the first instance of a visual livestock identification tag to gain USDA approval. While not intended for use as unique individual animal identification, the new, non-RFID tags, manufactured by Destron Fearing, will provide a valuable tool to enhance the traceability of breeding stock and to support the USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

Consisting of a pink tamper-proof button and a pink visual panel stud, each tag carries the official USDA shield, the assigned premises identification number (PIN) and a notice stating “unlawful to remove“. Finally, there is space available on the visual panel for producers to include an individual management number should they choose to use one.

“Over 73 percent of pork producing sites have registered their premises and received a premises identification number, or PIN,“ said Patrick Webb, Director of swine health programs for the National Pork Board, a non-profit agency created by the U.S. Congress that collects pork production fees and administers industry programs.

“Having premises identified is the first step in improving the animal health infrastructure of the country. The availability of USDA-approved tags for market sows is a logical next step toward enhancing traceability and improving the industry’s ability to detect diseases earlier so the spread of a disease can be limited efficiently,“ he said.

Joseph J. Grillo, Chief Executive Officer of Digital Angel, commented, “We are very proud that Destron Fearing is the first to receive NAIS approval for a visual tag. As the oldest livestock identification manufacturer in the United States and the originator of both visual tags in 1945 and radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in the 1980s, we believe it is important to provide our customers with new value-added solutions that help to keep them ahead of the curve in today’s changing marketplace.“

NAIS is a modern, streamlined information system that helps producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to animal health events in the United States. The program, which is voluntary at the federal level, consists of three parts: premises registration, animal identification and tracing. Destron Fearing already produces three other NAIS-compliant products, including an injectable RFID transponder for use in horses, alpacas and llamas.

5m Editor