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Sheep and Goat ID??????

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Well-known member
Feb 11, 2005
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A friend sent this to me................enjoy! :) author unknown....
Mandatory Electronic ID for Sheep & Goats?

National animal ID issues are front and center in the agricultural media. They will affect you so here's a strategic update:

Leaders of the US cattle industry are keen to introduce mandatory tagging (with electronic ear tags) and tracking of livestock. NCBA (National Cattleman's Beef Assoc.) is also pushing hard to have the database that stores all the records of tag and animal movements built and maintained by a private firm of their choosing. The USDA would rather build and operate the primary database themselves (as they do now for the sheep & goat scrapie programs).

Who will do it the best? I don't know.

Who will do it for the least cost to producers? The USDA-since the cost will be covered by future taxpayers. The NCBA's firm will pass the database cost on via a tag surcharge (up to $1 per tag).

Who will keep the records private? Legislation is necessary in both instances to prevent access under FOIA. Given that, both can. But we should also worry about misuse of databases in private hands. Access to all the livestock producer addresses (and their respective size and interest) is something for which many agribusinesses would give their commercial 'right arm'. If a private firm owns the database, the penalty for sharing data with other firms needs to be very high.

Will sheep and goat producers soon need to install RFID tags instead of the visual scrapie tags? Not as of this date. The primary reason is that a "practical, workable and affordable" system of RFID tags and hassle-free readers for small ruminants does not yet exist anywhere in the world. When such a system is developed and proven it's likely to be introduced to the USA as well as elsewhere in the world.

Why is current RFID practical for cattle and not for sheep?

It's not a given that the current USA plans for cattle RFID tags and their associated readers will actually work as hoped. Australia is the only country that's a proven success with cattle RFID tags and movement tracking/recording-and the USA is using a more complex system.
Sheep and goats are low value animals. Installing a $2.50 tag is a much higher "tax" than it is for much higher value cattle.
Ear tag loss/year in sheep and goats is much higher than for cattle. The increased size and weight of current RFID tags magnify this risk.
The larger size and slower movement of cattle (in a chute) makes it much easier to obtain accurate reads from automatic readers.
The cattle industry have export and domestic markets that reward source verification. The sheep and goat markets do not.
If a BSE scare does not affect the cattle market as it has been proven recently, why would a mandated individual ID program be of any value???? Source verification can be accomplished with a metal tag.
Age Verification can be done with verified records cerifired by a Vet if needed.
So the packers do not want a metal tag......cut the damm ear off when it comes down the rail..................

This whole ID thing is a joke..................and now the NCBA wants to keep the database???? Get F*(**ing real! :mad: :roll: :roll: :lol:
We have not heard a damm thing out of USDA since the comments period shut down July 6th????????????????????? It is over folks.......we will register producer /premise IDs according to the time frame suggested and that will be it as a USDA Mandated Program....... so all you folks that put your hard earned money in these private data warehouses.....good luck. I hope it works out for you! :roll:

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