The USDA recently awarded contracts to purchase up to eight million radio frequency identification ear tags. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service says the RFID tags will help increase overall animal disease traceability in cattle and bison. The contract allows APHIS to purchase additional tags each year for up to five years.
USDA Under Secretary 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 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. 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 this past spring. Each state veterinarian distributes the tags in a way that best serves their industry.
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