Official ID & Traceability


  • Limited supply of RFID tags and readers are available: DATCP has a limited supply of 840 official Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags and readers available, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. See the "RFID Tags and Readers" section below for more information.  


Animal disease traceability, or knowing wh​ere diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been, and when they were there is very important to ensure a rapid response when animal disease events take place. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the government.

RFID Tags & Readers

Limited opportunity for 840 RFID tags

A limited supply of 840 official Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is available from the W​isconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These tags are only for use in replacement cattle and bison and are available for producers, veterinarians, licensed markets, and licensed dealers. For more information on use, records, and ordering, click on the appropriate link: 

Limited opportunity for markets and dealers to use RFID readers

DATCP has a limited supply of RFID tag readers available for use by markets and dealers. The readers are intended to electronically read and record the official ID of animals with RFID tags to aid in keeping market and dealer records and/or completing certificates of veterinary inspection.

Limited opportunity for veterinarians to use RFID readers

DATCP has low frequency RFID tag readers available for use by veterinarians.

The readers are intended to electronically read and record the official ID of animals with RFID tags when that information is required for inspection prior to movements (when completing certificates of veterinary inspection) or when performing regulatory testing (such as tuberculosis testing) or vaccination (vaccination against brucellosis).

Veterinarians can also us​e the readers for any reasons related to their veterinary practice, such as herd health visits. Electronically reading and recording ID increases efficiency and accuracy in preparing regulatory documents and in maintaining herd records. If you have questions, contact Gretchen May at or (608) 282-5761.

Accuracy Issues with Dairy Comp 305

It has come to our attention that some of the identification lists generated by Dairy Comp 305 are printing numbers that are not accurate. In these cases, the animals have been identified with 840 tag​s, which are official identification, but the numbers are printing out with "USA" noted in place of "840". When the numbers are printed out this way, it is not clear that the tags are official identification and this will result in follow up with you as the veterinarian and potentially the person who receives the animals.

This is due to a default setting in Dairy Comp 305. It can be changed by going to the Preferences under Setup and choosing Numeric for the International ID Format. If you are using Dairy Comp 305, especially to generate lists for regulatory reasons such as writing CVIs, double check this setting to make sure the official identification is printing correctly.

As accredited veterinarians, when you are writing certificates of veterinary inspection (CVIs or health certificates), you are responsible for making sure that the CVI is complete and accurate. This generally includes making sure that all the boxes on the CVI are completed. Addresses should be complete and should include at a minimum the physical location from which the animals are leaving and to which they are going (PO boxes are not physical animal locations). If applicable, mailing addresses for the owners should be included as well. In addition most livestock species require official identification. Sometimes tests, vaccinations, or statements are required.  Contact the state of destination to ensure the animals meet the import requirements and make sure those requirements are clearly documented on the CVI.

When official identification is required, it should be clearly, completely, and accurately documented on the CVI.  If a list of identification numbers is provided to accompany the CVI, a copy of the list should accompany each copy of the CVI.  

Recordkeeping Requirements

In December 2012, the USDA announced a final rule establishing general regulations for improving the traceability of US livestock moving interstate. This new rule in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 9CFR 86, states that any state, tribe, accredited veterinarian, or other person or entity who distributes official identification devices must maintain for five years a record of the names and addresses of anyone to whom the devices were distributed.

This recordkeeping system must be designed so you can report the specific address at which official tags were used in animals. It is recommended that this recordkeeping system be designed to allow veterinarians to rapidly trace tags following a request from the USDA Veterinary Services Assistant District Director or the State Veterinarian in Wisconsin. Official identification eartags are accountable property of the USDA and their use is addressed in the Standards of Accredited Veterinarian Duties found in 9CFR 161.4(j) which states: an accredited veterinarian shall be responsible for the security and proper use of all official certificates, forms records and reports; tags, bands or other identification devices; and approved digital signature capabilities used in his or her work as an accredited veterinarian and shall take reasonable care to prevent the misuse thereof. ​​​