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Animal Disease Traceability

Animal disease traceability, or the location and travel history of animals, is essential information used by the livestock industry while responding to animal disease outbreaks. Knowing these facts when investigating diseased or at risk animals is critical in containing diseases as quickly as possible. Animal disease traceability information includes:

  • individual and group animal identification
  • animal location and owner information
  • animal movement information (interstate, sales, show)
  • animal test and/or vaccination information

South Dakota livestock producers and State and Federal animal health officials have worked together over the years to eliminate and/or control diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis, and scrapie using animal traceability information. Maintenance of an efficient, reliable system of animal disease traceability is essential to decrease negative effects and to preserve animal health when a disease outbreak occurs in an area. Effective traceability can also limit the number of animal owners impacted by an outbreak and reduce the economic impact to herd owners and affected communities, as well as the livestock industry as a whole.

SDAIB Animal Disease Traceability Pamphlet

USDA APHIS Final Rule: Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate

Effective as of March 11, 2013, USDA’s new animal disease traceability rule established general regulations for livestock that move interstate. Under the rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection.

For more information on the rule, please visit the USDA APHIS Animal Disease Traceability website:

South Dakota’s import requirements for dairy cattle have changed in order to comply with the new federal rule. Effective March11, 2013, all dairy cattle of any age or sex must be officially identified to move interstate into South Dakota.

Click here for South Dakota import requirements

National Uniform Ear tagging System (NUES):

USDA has recently authorized the distribution of National Uniform Ear tagging System (NUES) tags, also known as USDA silver metal tags, to producers for use as official identification in cattle and bison outside of program disease testing and interstate movement activities. The State of South Dakota approves of the distribution of USDA metal tags to producers in South Dakota through SD accredited veterinarians. Each South Dakota tag has a 9-digit individual number that starts with “46” - the SD State Code. Official tags can be recognized by the presence of the US shield pictured below:

Veterinarians: Click here for information about USDA metal tag (NUES tag) distribution.

Cattle and bison producers: Click here for information about applying USDA metal tags (NUES tags).

Information for Accredited Veterinarians - Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI):

The federal traceability rule now requires that all issued ICVI’s be forwarded to the state office in Pierre within 7 calendar days of the date of issue.

Copies of issued ICVI’s must be maintained for two years for swine and poultry, and five years for all other covered livestock species.

Electronic ICVI’s are available as an option and six systems have been approved for use in South Dakota. Click here for information about electronic certificates of veterinary inspection (CVI’s).

Remember to check current import requirements at the state of destination. Click here for the contact information for US State animal health officials:

Click here to access the US Interstate and International Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals:
Note: This CVI is NOT enabled to be sent electronically. When used as an interstate CVI, copies must be printed out and sent to the state office within 7 calendar days of issue date.