Monday, July 22, 2013

Scrapie Tags Required for Sheep and Goats

As a general rule, all sheep and goats should be tagged with official scrapie identification tags before leaving the farm.  The USDA provides tags free of charge.

To receive official USDA sheep and goat ear tags at no charge, call 1-866-USDA-TAG (866-873-2824) or the USDA veterinary services office in Jefferson City, MO, at 573-636-3116.  You also may request a premises (flock or herd) number ID be assigned to your flock which is required to get the tags. You may request the number of tags that you will need for a one year period and a tag applicator.  Additional federal information concerning requirements for scrapie ear tags  by clicking here.

If you would prefer to purchase a different kind of ear tag or device, contact one of the approved tag companies at the web site above to purchase the ear tags or devices. Approved ear tag companies offer a wide range of colors and styles. There are restrictions on the use of implantable and RFID devices.

Missouri also has additional rules concerning scrapie tags which can be found by clicking here or by calling the Department of Agriculture at 573-751-3377.  An exception includes animals at custom slaughter plants where the meat is used for personal consumption not needing scrapie tags.  Also, registered animals with visual ID on papers may not require a scrapie tag for local shows, but it is better to check with the specific show.  It should be noted that sale barns in Missouri will put in tags if the animals do not have scrapie tags and will charge $1.50 to $3.00 per animal for tagging, an important consideration since you can get the tags at no charge from USDA.
(by Jodie Pennington, Lincoln University Extension Small Ruminant Specialist)

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