TA-FC ClipBoard: Currently there are thirty-nine million calves/cattle slaughtered yearly in the USA. Yet there are only eight million tags distributed. There’s no talk about how that is going to keep tabs on all the cattle, unless they tag every fourth or fifth calf in a population that’s regulated.
It sounds like Adolph Hitler tagging Jews with tattoos to keep track of them? I used to wonder why bother if they were all going to slaughter anyway? Only he knows and he’s dead.
One cow gets sick and they all get sick? So these tags are for contagious diseases, not necessarily disease caused by other factors which might just as easily sweep though a herd without actually being contagious.
That’s a lot of time, effort and money going into tagging and monitoring the tags, which isn’t covered in the article (the monitoring part). How does the tag alert authorities of impending or current disease process? How do they actually work?
How many cows have to get sick before the alarm sounds? Do tags also alert to downed cows? Can the tag tell if a cow is sick? Which symptoms does it look for?
Does the tag cover corona-type viruses as well? How? Can cows get the plaque or a version of it?
Nobody has to tag a plant, do they? I wonder though if tagging plants, every other row, interspersed, could detect viruses before they take out a whole crop?
How would you do it? I know one thing for sure, the plant wouldn’t resist.
The plant industry isn’t very good at tracking where plants came from once they end up in a produce market, when a human disease breaks out due to faulty, contaminated processing.
So are these tags really meant for tracing a cow once it’s been slaughtered, dismembered and rendered in case the flesh is tainted? You mean that tag number stays with every bit of the flesh, bone and blood till it reaches it final resting place in your gut? I don’t believe it. You mean two cows don’t get mixed up, once they’re dead and being ground or slashed and pulled apart? I don’t believe it.
Thirty-nine million cows dead yearly in the USA by human hands and those humans are worried that a few may get sick and die before they have a chance to kill them?
USDA advances RFID tag program for cattle disease traceability
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently awarded contracts to purchase up to 8 million low-frequency radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags, which will help increase overall animal disease traceability in cattle and bison.
APHIS said the contract allows it to purchase additional tags each year for up to five years.
“USDA continues its commitment to protecting our nation’s animal agriculture by increasing traceability in the cattle and bison sectors — in this case, by providing free RFID tags to interested producers,” USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs Greg Ibach said. “This will not only help offset the costs of switching to RFID tags but also help us more quickly respond to potential disease events.”
USDA believes that RFID devices will provide states and the cattle and bison industries with the best opportunity to rapidly contain the spread of high-economic impact diseases, APHIS said.
Use of RFID tags better positions the livestock industry and state and federal veterinarians to accurately and quickly trace animals exposed or infected with potentially devastating diseases before they can do substantial damage to the U.S. livestock industry, the agency said.
These RFID tags will be provided to animal health officials and will be distributed for use in replacement breeding cattle and bison at no cost to the producer, APHIS explained. RFID low-frequency official calfhood vaccination (OCV) button tags are available for brucellosis-vaccinated animals, and official “840” white button tags are available for non-vaccinated heifers.
APHIS noted that free metal “National Uniform Eartagging System” tags will remain available as USDA continues to receive comments and evaluate next steps on its proposed RFID transition timeline.
That proposal is available for review and public comment through Oct. 5, 2020.
Contracts for the RFID tags were awarded to three U.S. tag companies: Allflex, Datamars and Y-Tex. Contracting with all three manufacturers will allow USDA to procure the number of tags needed to meet an industry volume equivalent to the number of replacement heifers in the U.S., APHIS said.
As part of its overall effort to increase traceability in cattle and bison, APHIS distributed more than 1.1 million RFID tags to 38 states between January and July 2020. Each state veterinarian distributes the tags in a way that best serves their industry. For more information on availability and distribution of tags, producers can contact their state veterinarian’s office. Producers can also purchase RFID tags for their animals by contacting any of the companies approved to manufacture official identification RFID tags, APHIS said.