Updates to Official Identification for Exhibition Swine 2021


January 14, 2021 - Dr. Cherie Collins, Dr. Theresa Drysdale, Nick Babcock and <franzeli@msu.edu>,

2021 Requirements

  • For the 2021 exhibition year and beyond, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) will no longer provide bulk orders of the plastic NUES tags for county fairs to use as official ID as they have in the past.
  • The individual exhibitor or owner of the animal will need to acquire the official identification (ID) for the animal(s).
    • This can be done by the exhibitor purchasing a pig that has already been tagged with a USDA 840 tag by the breeder or by the exhibitor purchasing USDA 840 tag(s).
    • Exhibitors are strongly encouraged by MDARD to request that tags are placed in the pig before purchasing it.
    • Currently there is no requirement for in state breeders to provide official ID or USDA 840 tags; instead, this is a service that the breeder can provide for their customers.
  • It is illegal to remove official ID tags from an animal.
  • You may not apply an official ID tag if one is present in the animal already. For example: If a pig currently has a USDA 840 tag identifying it, a NUES tag should not be applied to the animal. Fairs may require non-official fair specific identification for their event.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Can the fair use a non-official management tag (fair specific) along with an official ID tag?
    1. Yes, fairs can have fair-specific tags required for their exhibits, along with the requirement for official ID.
    2. Fairs are encouraged to use a non-official management tag for ease of readability.
  2. Will the fair be able to use NUES tags in 2021 if they still have an inventory left from previous years?
    Fairs can use their excess supply of NUES tags until they are gone.
    1. County fairs will be expected to have a record keeping system in place that allows them to track the tag number issued to the exhibitor and the address of where the pigs are kept.
    2. Records for the animals will need to be updated with the destination of the animal after leaving the county fair (processor or back to a farm).
    3. Fairs can only utilize the NUES tags that were originally allocated to them.
  3. What does a fair do with extra NUES tags that they do not plan on using?
    1. Tags can be picked up by MDARD field staff by calling program manager Dr. Cherie Collins at (517) 284-5686.
  4. If my fair has extra NUES tags that we will not be using, can I give these tags to another fair to use?
    1. No, NUES tags must be used by the location/fair that they were originally allocated to. Fairs are not allowed to exchange or share NUES tags.
  5. If the purchased animal is not tagged with a USDA 840 tag by the breeder, where can youth purchase USDA 840 tags?
    1. USDA 840 tags can be purchased from an approved supplier. The premises identification number (PIN) of the farm or location where the animal is housed must be used to purchase official ID tags.
  6. When purchasing USDA 840 tags, you have the option of selecting electronic (EID) or non-electronic tags. Which should you select?
    1. MDARD recommends that exhibitors purchase USDA 840 electronic identification (EID) tags for use in their exhibition pigs. If they choose, fairs or exhibitions can purchase an EID tag reader to use during their event.
  7. Where can exhibitors get a Premises Identification Number (PIN)?
    1. If an exhibitor would like to register their premises with the state of Michigan, they should call MDARD at 1-888-565-8626 to complete this process. It is important to remember that PINs are assigned to a physical address; not an individual. If a person moves locations, their PIN does not remain the same.
  8. What do I do if I lost my Premises Identification Number (PIN)?
    1. If you need to be reminded of your PIN, please call MDARD at 1-888-565-8626.
  9. Who are approved suppliers of USDA 840 tags?
    1. USDA 840 tags are sold by multiple distributors and can be ordered from your company of choice.
      1. The following companies are approved to manufacture USDA 840 tags for swine: Allflex, Destron Fearing, EZid (Leader Products), Shearwell, Temple Tag, Y-Tex.
      2. Tags can be ordered in bulk from approved distributors listed on each manufacturer’s website.
    2. Most Michigan livestock markets will sell single USDA 840 EID tags to exhibitors.
      1. Exhibitors are encouraged to call their local livestock market to inquire if they sell single USDA 840 EID tags for use in swine.
    3. Additional retailers are approved to supply single EID USDA 840 tags.
    4. Markets and businesses that will supply single EID USDA 840 tags can be viewed on the MDARD website.
    5. When purchasing an USDA 840 tag from ANY supplier you will need to have the PIN for the farm or location housing your animals.
  10. When ordering USDA 840 tags from a manufacturing distributor, how long does it typically take to receive them? Manufacturing and shipping times will vary depending on the distributor; you should plan on at least three to four weeks before receiving the tags once ordered.
  11. What expense will the exhibitor incur when ordering USDA 840 tags? USDA 840 tags are approximately $1 to $4.50 each; however many suppliers require that tags are ordered in sets of 25.
  12. Who is responsible for tagging the animal with a USDA 840 tag?

Tags may be applied by the exhibitor, parent or a responsible party. Fair officials or volunteers may also complete the tagging process if needed. Please note tag applicators will not work for all tags. If a fair intends to supply tag applicators, they will need to make sure that the equipment will work for various types of USDA 840 tags or have multiple applicators on hand.



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