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Official ID


National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) metal USDA tags

  • Brucellosis vaccination tags - orange tags only on official calfhood vaccinates for brucellosis
  • Silver tags for program disease testing, interstate movement, change of ownership
  • Used/distributed by accredited veterinarians
  • Producers may apply silver NUES tags to their own cattle or bison for official identification purposes

840 tag or Animal Identification Number (AIN) tag

  • RFID and visual-only tags available
  • 15-digit number; first three numbers are the 840 USA code to be placed in USA origin animals only
  • Orange RFID tags are available to accredited veterinarians for brucellosis vaccination
  • Available from livestock supply distributors
  • National premises number required

900 series tag or manufacturer tag - BEING PHASED OUT AS OFFICIAL ID

  • RFID 15-digit tag
  • Available from livestock supply distributors
  • Are currently considered an official tag for identification purposes for interstate movement only if previously placed on an animal before March 11, 2015
  • 900 series numbers are NOT recognized as official identification when applied to livestock on or after March 11, 2015

Scrapie tags for Sheep and Goats

  • Required for intrastate sale, show and interstate movement of certain sheep and goats
  • Please see the SDAIB Scrapie pamphlet or contact the SDAIB (605.773.3321) for specific tagging requirements
  • Available at no charge from the South Dakota USDA office (605.224.6186)
  • Custom numbered scrapie tags available for purchase from livestock supply distributors


  • Applied to animals sold directly to slaughter
  • Applied by livestock markets and slaughter facilities

Swine Premises tag

  • Pink plastic tag for cull sows and boars
  • Available from livestock supply distributors

Not sure if a tag is "official"? Look for the official eartag shield

REMEMBER: removal of official ID is forbidden by law unless expressly authorized by regulatory authorities

If there is a problem with a certain official tag on an animal, please contact the SDAIB (605.773.3321).


Official ID for Cattle and Bison

  • Official eartags - used for ID on ICVI's, test charts, change of ownership records, and brucellosis vaccination
  • Breed registration tattoos to be accompanied with registration certificates - used for ICVI's, test charts (except TB) and change of ownership records
  • Backtags - used on animals going directly to slaughter
  • Brands - used for ownership and grazing permits

Official ID for Sheep and Goats

  • Scrapie tags - used for ICVI's, test charts and intrastate sales
  • Scrapie tag application records are kept by the sale barn, veterinarian or producer who applies the tags
  • Other official eartags (RFID) and breed registration tattoos used for ICVI's and test charts
  • Please see the SDAIB Scrapie pamphlet for more information

Official ID for Swine

  • Official eartags (metal, RFID) - used for ICVI's, test charts
  • Slap tattoos - used on feeder swine:
    • used by producers to ID feeder swine
    • used by auction markets and collection stations to ID slaughter swine
  • Backtags, USDA premises tags - animals moving in slaughter channels
  • Registration tattoo - ICVI's, test charts

Official ID for Horses

  • Detailed Physical description on an ICVI and/or Coggins test chart - including any brands or lip tattoos.
  • Digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual equine.
  • USDA approved microchips
    • Electronic indentification that complies with ISO 11784/11785; or
    • Non-ISO electronic identification injected into the equine on or before February 26, 2014.

Official ID for Poultry

  • Producer participation in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) allows poultry to move interstate through the production cycle as a group using VS Form 9-3
  • Leg Bands, group/lot ID - used on ICVI's

Official ID for Captive Cervids

  • Official USDA tags (metal, RFID) - used on ICVI's, test chart, herd inventory records
  • Registration tattoo - used on ICVI's, test charts, herd inventory records

Please visit this website for more information on official ID tags for livestock