The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a proposal to phase out visual-only identification ear tags in an effort to move towards official radio frequency ID ear tags (beginning with '840' for U.S. born livestock). The current proposal is that metal National Uniform Eartagging System tags, including silver metal and orange Brucellosis vaccination tags, continue to be provided at no cost through the Minnesota Board of Animal Health office until Dec. 31, 2019, or earlier if funds are depleted.

Once the metal NUES tags are no longer available from the Board office, accredited veterinarians will have the ability to purchase them from either Ketchum Manufacturing or National Band and Tag companies through Dec. 31, 2020. Livestock producers may contact their veterinarian or tag supply company to purchase official ID.

As of Jan. 1, 2021, NUES tags (both metal and plastic) are proposed to no longer be available from any sources. NUES tags applied prior to that date are proposed to be recognized as official ID through Dec. 31, 2022.

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.