9 CFR § 86.4 - Official identification.

(a) Official identification devices and methods. The Administrator has approved the following official identification devices or methods for the species listed. The Administrator may authorize the use of additional devices or methods for a specific species if he or she determines that such additional devices or methods will provide for adequate traceability.

(1) Cattle and bison. Cattle and bison that are required to be officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be identified by means of:

(i) An official eartag; or

(ii) Brands registered with a recognized brand inspection authority and accompanied by an official brand inspection certificate, when agreed to by the shipping and receiving State or Tribal animal health authorities; or

(iii) Tattoos and other identification methods acceptable to a breed association for registration purposes, accompanied by a breed registration certificate, when agreed to by the shipping and receiving State or/Tribal animal health authorities; or

(iv) Group/lot identification when a group/lot identification number (GIN) may be used.

(2) Horses and other equine species. Horses and other equine species that are required to be officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be identified by one of the following methods:

(i) A description sufficient to identify the individual equine including, but not limited to, name, age, breed, color, gender, distinctive markings, and unique and permanent forms of identification when present (e.g., brands, tattoos, scars, cowlicks, blemishes or biometric measurements). When the identity of the equine is in question at the receiving destination, the State or Tribal animal health official in the State or Tribe of destination or APHIS representative may determine if the description provided is sufficient; or

(ii) Electronic identification that complies with ISO 11784/11785; or

(iii) Non-ISO electronic identification injected to the equine on or before March 11, 2014; or

(iv) Digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual equine; or

(v) For equines being commercially transported to slaughter, a device or method authorized by 88 of this chapter.

(3) Poultry. Poultry that are required to be officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be identified by one of the following methods:

(i) Sealed and numbered leg bands in the manner referenced in the National Poultry Improvement Plan regulations (parts 145 through 147 of this chapter); or

(ii) Group/lot identification when a group/lot identification number (GIN) may be used.

(4) Sheep and goats. Sheep and goats that are required to be officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be identified by a device or method authorized by part 79 of this chapter.

(5) Swine. Swine that are required to be officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be identified by a device or method authorized by § 71.19 of this chapter.

(6) Captive cervids. Captive cervids that are required to be officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be identified by a device or method authorized by part 77 of this chapter.

(b) Official identification requirements for interstate movement -

(1) Cattle and bison.

(i) All cattle and bison listed in paragraphs (b)(1)(iii)(A) through (b)(1)(iii)(D) of this section must be officially identified prior to the interstate movement, using an official identification device or method listed in paragraph (a)(1) of this section unless:

(A) The cattle and bison are moved as a commuter herd with a copy of the commuter herd agreement or other documents as agreed to by the shipping and receiving States or Tribes. If any of the cattle or bison are shipped to a State or Tribe not included in the commuter herd agreement or other documentation, then these cattle or bison must be officially identified and documented to the original State of origin.

(B) The cattle and bison are moved directly from a location in one State through another State to a second location in the original State.

(C) The cattle and bison are moved interstate directly to an approved tagging site and are officially identified before commingling with cattle and bison from other premises or identified by the use of backtags or other methods that will ensure that the identity of the animal is accurately maintained until tagging so that the official eartag can be correlated to the person responsible for shipping the animal to the approved tagging site.

(D) The cattle and bison are moved between shipping and receiving States or Tribes with another form of identification, as agreed upon by animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes.

(ii) Cattle and bison may also be moved interstate without official identification if they are moved directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment or directly to no more than one approved livestock facility and then directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment, where they are harvested within 3 days of arrival; and

(A) They are moved interstate with a USDA-approved backtag; or

(B) A USDA-approved backtag is applied to the cattle or bison at the recognized slaughtering establishment or federally approved livestock facility.

(C) If a determination to hold the cattle or bison for more than 3 days is made after the animals arrive at the slaughter establishment, the animals must be officially identified in accordance with § 86.4(d)(4)(ii).

(iii) Beginning on March 11, 2013, all cattle and bison listed below are subject to the official identification requirements of this section:

(A) All sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age or over;

(B) All female dairy cattle of any age and all dairy males born after March 11, 2013;

(C) Cattle and bison of any age used for rodeo or recreational events; and

(D) Cattle and bison of any age used for shows or exhibitions.

(2) Sheep and goats. Sheep and goats moved interstate must be officially identified prior to the interstate movement unless they are exempt from official identification requirements under 9 CFR part 79 or are officially identified after the interstate movement, as provided in 9 CFR part 79.

(3) Swine. Swine moving interstate must be officially identified in accordance with § 71.19 of this chapter.

(4) Horses and other equines. Horses and other equines moving interstate moved interstate must be officially identified prior to the interstate movement, using an official identification device or method listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section unless:

(i) They are used as the mode of transportation (horseback, horse and buggy) for travel to another location and then return direct to the original location.

(ii) They are moved from the farm or stable for veterinary medical examination or treatment and returned to the same location without change in ownership.

(iii) They are moved directly from a location in one State through another State to a second location in the original State.

(iv) They are moved between shipping and receiving States or Tribes with another form of identification as agreed upon by animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes.

(5) Poultry. Poultry moving interstate must be officially identified prior to interstate movement unless:

(i) The shipment of poultry is from a hatchery to a redistributor or poultry grower and the person responsible for receiving the shipment maintains a record of the supplier; or

(ii) The shipment is from a redistributor to a poultry grower and the person responsible for receiving the chicks maintains a record of the supplier of the chicks; or

(iii) The poultry are identified as agreed upon by the States or Tribes involved in the movement.

(6) Captive cervids. Captive cervids moving interstate must be officially identified prior to interstate movement in accordance with part 77 of this chapter.

(c) Use of more than one official eartag. Beginning on March 13, 2013, no more than one official eartag may be applied to an animal, except that:

(1) Another official eartag may be applied providing it bears the same official identification number as an existing one.

(2) In specific cases when the need to maintain the identity of an animal is intensified (e.g., such as for export shipments, quarantined herds, field trials, experiments, or disease surveys), a State or Tribal animal health official or an area veterinarian in charge may approve the application of an additional official eartag to an animal that already has one or more. The person applying the additional official eartag must record the following information about the event and maintain the record for 5 years: The date the additional official eartag is added; the reason for the additional official eartag device; and the official identification numbers of both the new official eartag and the one(s) already attached to the animal.

(3) An eartag with an animal identification number (AIN) beginning with the 840 prefix (either radio frequency identification or visual-only tag) may be applied to an animal that is already officially identified with one or more National Uniform Eartagging System tags and/or an official vaccination eartag used for brucellosis. The person applying the AIN eartag must record the date the AIN tag is added and the official identification numbers of both official eartags and must maintain those records for 5 years.

(4) A brucellosis vaccination eartag with a National Uniform Eartagging System number may be applied in accordance with part 78 of this chapter to an animal that is already officially identified with one or more official eartags under this part. The person applying the vaccination eartag must record the date the tag is added and the official identification numbers of both the existing official eartag(s) and the vaccination eartag and must maintain those records for 5 years.

(d) Removal or loss of official identification devices.

(1) Official identification devices are intended to provide permanent identification of livestock and to ensure the ability to find the source of animal disease outbreaks. Removal of these devices, including devices applied to imported animals in their countries of origin and recognized by the Administrator as official, is prohibited except at the time of slaughter, at any other location upon the death of the animal, or as otherwise approved by the State or Tribal animal health official or an area veterinarian in charge when a device needs to be replaced.

(2) All man-made identification devices affixed to covered livestock unloaded at slaughter plants after moving interstate must be re moved at the slaughter facility by slaughter-facility personnel with the devices correlated with the animal and its carcass through final inspection or condemnation by means approved by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS). If diagnostic samples are taken, the identification devices must be packaged with the samples and be correlated with the carcasses through final inspection or condemnation by means approved by FSIS. Devices collected at slaughter must be made available to APHIS and FSIS by the slaughter plant.

(3) All official identification devices affixed to covered livestock carcasses moved interstate for rendering must be re moved at the rendering facility and made available to APHIS.

(4) If an animal loses an official identification device and needs a new one: (i) A replacement tag with a different official identification number may be applied. The person applying a new official identification device with a different official identification number must record the following information about the event and maintain the record for 5 years: The date the new official identification device was added; the official identification number on the device; and the official identification number on the old device if known.

(ii) Replacement of a temporary identification device with a new official identification device is considered to be a retagging event, and all applicable information must be maintained in accordance with paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section.

(iii) A duplicate replacement eartag with the official number of the lost tag may be applied in accordance with APHIS' protocol for the administration of such tags.

(e) Replacement of official identification devices for reasons other than loss.

(1) Circumstances under which a State or Tribal animal health official or an area veterinarian in charge may authorize replacement of an official identification device include, but are not limited to:

(i) Deterioration of the device such that loss of the device appears likely or the number can no longer be read;

(ii) Infection at the site where the device is attached, necessitating application of a device at another location (e.g., a slightly different location of an eartag in the ear);

(iii) Malfunction of the electronic component of a radio frequency identification (RFID) device; or

(iv) Incompatibility or inoperability of the electronic component of an RFID device with the management system or unacceptable functionality of the management system due to use of an RFID device.

(2) Any time an official identification device is replaced, as authorized by the State or Tribal animal health official or area veterinarian in charge, the person replacing the device must record the following information about the event and maintain the record for 5 years:

(i) The date on which the device was removed;

(ii) Contact information for the location where the device was removed;

(iii) The official identification number (to the extent possible) on the device removed;

(iv) The type of device removed (e.g., metal eartag, RFID eartag);

(v) The reason for the removal of the device;

(vi) The new official identification number on the replacement device; and

(vii) The type of replacement device applied.

(f) Sale or transfer of official identification devices. Official identification devices are not to be sold or otherwise transferred from the premises to which they were originally issued to another premises without authorization by the Administrator or a State or Tribal animal health official.