Source: Texas Animal Health Commission | Jan. 6, 2021
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has received a limited number of no-cost Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) ear tags from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to distribute to Texas accredited veterinarians and cattle producers for use in replacement breeding cattle.
“The TAHC is pleased to have received these RFID tags through the USDA’s no cost program,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC executive director and state veterinarian. “We believe this program will help offset the costs of switching to this type of tag, while also helping our state respond to potential disease events more quickly and efficiently.”
The complimentary RFID tags are to be used as an alternative to silver metal Brite tags and orange metal Official Calfhood Vaccination (OCV) tags. Though the metal clip tags have served a valuable purpose in disease control and eradication programs, RFID devices provide state animal health officials and the cattle industries increased ability to accurately and quickly trace animals exposed to or infected with potentially devastating diseases before they can do substantial damage to the U.S. livestock and consumer markets.
Texas-accredited veterinarians and cattle producers interested in ordering RFID tags at no cost may submit their request to the TAHC Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) Department beginning Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at 8 a.m.
- Only Texas-accredited veterinarians and cattle producers may order the free RFID tags from the Texas allocation.
- These RFID tags are only intended for use in replacement stock.
- Two types of tags are available to order: white “840” button tags and orange “840” calfhood vaccination (OCV) button tags. Both RFID tags are low frequency tags. Veterinarians may receive both white and orange tags, while cattle producers may only receive white tags.
- Currently, no ultra-high frequency tags are available through this program.
- Tags are ordered in bags of 100 and will be made available for pick up at a TAHC region offices.
- RFID tag inventory may include more than one brand of tag. A specific brand cannot be requested.
To place your order, contact the TAHC ADT Department by phone at 512-719-0733 or email [email protected]. TAHC staff will process your request in the order it is received. In the event of high call volume, please leave a voicemail and our staff will return your call in the order it is received.
Once the Texas tag allotment is depleted, there is currently no indication additional tags will be provided to the state. The TAHC will provide the most current information on availability and distribution of tags on the agency website, https://www.tahc.texas.gov/adt/.
For more information about this program visit https://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_RFID840FreeTagGuidance.pdf. Producers can also purchase RFID tags for their animals by contacting any of the companies approved to manufacture official identification RFID tags.