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Rebecca, Irena Farm

New Proposed Animal ID Regulations

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I don't know if ya'll have seen this proposal:

 

http://animalid.aphis.usda.gov/nais/about/..._Plan_42505.pdf

 

Essentially it says that ALL locations that hold, board, or manange animals will be required to have a Premise ID issued by the state, by January 2008. That's only two years from now.

 

Note, this proposal aims to include not only cattle, sheep, and goats, but all forms of livestock - including poultry, bison, even camelids and rattines (mm, spelling).

 

They are looking to have a mandantory ID and movement reporting system in place by January 2009.

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Just think, you'll have scrapies flock and animal numbers (epidemiological ID), a premises number, and animal number.

 

If you move your sheep to a new location (i.e. rented field) will you need to change location ID number on each animal?

 

This will be fun for grazing projects and range grazing of stock.

 

In the long run it's probably going to be good, but it's going to be a logistical nightmare getting there.

 

Mark

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It's a little horrifying, frankly. I'm praying that RTF technology gets a LOT cheaper and more accessible so they would consider offering it in the program instead of the wretched tags. Then they can put any darn information they want to in the computer and manage it themselves!

 

But I think the UK has extensive animal tracking procedures so it couldn't be all bad. Of course, breeding stock (sheep especially) doesn't move around there nearly as much as it does here.

 

I'm very concerned that this will become a burden for the smallholder. They should really develop a seperate program for non-commercial flocks, similiar to the smallholder EQIS program (a rare example of governmental genius).

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I just want to know how I'm going to tag my chickens. :rolleyes:

 

Actually, I'm hoping there will be a way to electronically (via computer) report movement of animals.

 

And if you get a premises number and move does the number go with you to the new premises? I guess that's kind of similar to Mark's question about moving to a rented field.

 

Yep, Rebecca, as I read through the document I was wondering what the cost would be to the smallholder and if it wouldn't be enough to keep/put some small flock owners out of business (or using myself as an example, someone who keeps, say, a few chickens as pets who will now have to incur what cost to register those chickens with the government)?

 

J.

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Originally posted by juliepoudrier:

And if you get a premises number and move does the number go with you to the new premises? I guess that's kind of similar to Mark's question about moving to a rented field.

J.

Julie, the flyer we got in the mail said that the premises number stays with the ground it is assigned to.

Also it sounded like each fair/show would need a premises number.

 

Here's what ASI is reporting :Animal ID

 

Mark

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So if I'm hoping to move even in the next year or so, does it really make sense to get a premises number now? I am completely outside any system right now with my renegade chickens and sheep.

 

J.

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The Premises number stays with the real estate. The animals need to be reported (now anyway) by species only, and not number of, etc. They want to know what type of operation the current production facility is. I registered online last month just for kicks, have my number. It was easy. I expect every type of animals will have a certain way of IDing their individuals, like horses will probably get microchipped, sheep and cattle ear tag numbers (good luck keeping them in) and while it all sounds good and necessary, I agree, it'll be a thing to behold watching it get off the ground.

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No, I think you state only an address, no asking who owns said property. I had to further state "green barn" for some part of it. (I registered for horses). Imagine the fun of a property like the Virginia Horse Center housing as many as 800 horses in a 4 day period from other places. The idea will be that if an animal comes down with strangles (YUCK), they can trace all the animals who were there and notify them of that fact. Cool, but will it happen?

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So does this mean they want everything tagged by 2008, or that is when they are going to start the mandatory tagging? I was a little confused reading the article.

 

It will be interesting to see how everything will get worked out...

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I would think microchipping may be the way to go for all livestock. Chips may migrate, but at least they don't fall out! Even my banded chickens can lose their bands.

 

Then I wonder who has the responsibility of reporting an animal that has moved? I can't imagine having had to notify some authority every time I took my horse to a show, especially when we were showing nearly every weekend! Or would it have been the show officials' responsibility to send a list of entrants and their ID numbers in just prior to a show? More paperwork.... And with sheep, would the seller or buyer be responsible for notifying the authorities of the new location? I assume that's all stuff they're working on now.

 

Anyway, I think I'll wait to register my property until I know for a fact I'm staying where I am or going somewhere else, which will surely be before the mandatory deadline date.

 

And I still worry about the cost to the stock owner of all this.

 

J.

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It looked like the timeline was, mandantory Premise ID by 2008. After that it's up to you when you tag but it's got to be tagged before moving off the premise. After that they wanted to have the whole system in place by 2009.

 

I imagine poultry will either have wing tags (yuck) or they will figure a way to get the required info on leg tags (that would be a challenge with your banty biddies!).

 

Julie, right now if they mandate anything they also pay, but sometimes their "free solution" isn't something that works well for your operation. The first set of scrapies tags they issued were ridiculously easy to lose. The current 2Xes aren't too bad, but I don't like to apply them to young lambs, so I end up having to handle everyone twice just to get proper ID on them. Guess what? No one has 2Xes this year!

 

I'll have to special order tags if they don't combine the systems. Putting in two tags would mess up my own ID system, which is tatoo-based. I have liked having at least one ear - with ID! - which is not torn to pieces by the time the sheep is eight or nine years old. :rolleyes:

 

BTW, Julie, how are your ewes?

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I'm hoping that they will come up with a single ear tag solution for both systems (NAIS & Scrapie) using both halves of the tag plus a chip in the tag.

 

We've been using button tags (for our own ID) and will be moving away from the free Scrapie ear tags to approved button tags with the Scrapie ID. We have found that the button tags have a lower rate of being ripped out.

 

Mark

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I like them too but they are not free! :rolleyes: Yes, I am three-quarters Scots . . .

 

Wouldn't chipped tags just be the bomb? They are working with them with Premier, I understand, but they are still about $2.25 a piece (plus the RFID reader and a special applicator). Also, they still weigh a lot. I'd be surprised if they fixed all those problems, which really only impact small ruminant producers, by the mandantory implementation dates.

 

If the price would come down JUST a little, maybe to around $1 a piece, it wuld be tempting. I know my hubby would love the nerd factor of it - he'd be out there saying, Oooh, is it time to tag the lambs yet? :D :D

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Rebecca,

All seem well, but the little Scottie is still rather pale. I'm still keeping her and the smallest cheviot confined 100 percent and dosing her with good stuff. She's definitely feeling better as she's fighting me now when I handle her. By the way, it's been more than three days, but when I let the rest of the flock out to graze the cheviot still screams for her cheviot buddies.... I guess my sheep are just racist. :rolleyes:

 

J.

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Sheep are definitely clannish. Honestly, she will settle down - about the time you start letting her out again!

 

I've got my two bottle lambs back in the front yard again. Mowing the lawn and weeding.

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I think I'm ready to buy stock in the company producing these tags!!

 

With all the millions of tags that will be needed, I'm sure the price will drop

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Originally posted by Maralynn:

With all the millions of tags that will be needed, I'm sure the price will drop

Or the companies that make them will realize that we have no choice and so set a higher price and make scads of money. And their excuse will be that they can't keep up with the demand for those millions of tags so need to set a premium price to pay for increasing their production capacity. Oil companies, anyone? (Yes, I'm a bit cynical.)

 

J.

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Yes, you've got a right to be cynical there. It's going to be muddled by the mandantory aspect of this, and the fact that the government will be contracting out vast numbers of these and they are not exactly champions at cost efficiency.

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It's going to be muddled by the mandantory aspect of this, and the fact that the government will be contracting out vast numbers of these and they are not exactly champions at cost efficiency.
Very true.

 

Also, saying something is mandatory and enforcing it are two very different things. I didn't even know that MI had a mandatory scrapies tag regulation until a year and a half after it went into effect. I just happend to notice a flyer on the wall at the co-op where we sold our lambs.

 

It will be very interesting to see how they get the word out, and then how in the world they are going to enforce it all.

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So far, compliance with the mandatory scrapie program has been pretty easy for us. The USDA has been pretty understanding about the fact that our "premesis" includes farms and fields in three states, and that sheep are moved to lots of different rented or contracted lands.

 

Tracking movement of sheep by individual ID would be very challenging under the current system, and would mean that we would probably have to make static groups in which all IDs were recorded once in the spring, and then try very hard not to split them up or co-mingle them with other groups. Royal PITA, especially when you're trying to match stocking rates to vegetation growth.

 

Rebecca -- are you saying that even Premier was backordered on 2X tags? I've never run into that situation before.

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By the way, RFID in sheep has hit a few major technical snags. Readers need a certain amount of space between signals and a certain amount of time to capture it, and in order to separate sheep by enough space and time, they have to be stopped and held, whereas cattle walking through an alley are generally moving slowly enough and are large enough that the IDs can be captured.

 

IDing sheep in a group would become a chore akin to weighing them, in which each sheep would need to be stopped, crated, recorded, and released, by which time the ones in the race behind it would have turned around, backed up, or otherwise stopped flowing. Only slightly faster than visually reading a good ear tag, in my estimation. The benefit would be in increased accuracy of records (assuming the scanner picked up the right signal and the rest of the capture system worked properly).

 

There was some discussion a while back of a rumen bolus for sheep ID which supposedly could overcome some of these obstacles by using a highly directional antenna aimed upwards from the floor of the race. Sheep would still have to be slowed for the reader, but would not have to be spaced out as much.

 

BTW, if you want to see nightmarish mandatory ID eartags, go to Quebec, where each sheep has a 12-digit eartag with a barcode. All the lambs look like they have listeriosis because they can't raise the side of their heads with the tag in the ear.

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We raise Icelandics. They are registered with the Canadian Livestock Registry Corporation. wea re requuired to place a tattoo in each ear. Animal # in one ear, flock # in the other. Then either the madatory scrapies or SFCP tag. Now a premise tag #. How are our small eared Icelandics goinbg to walk with all that in their ears? In Oklahoma you can register for the premise ID on line. It was easy and simple.

 

Bill, have you located a place to sale your flock? Sad to see you having to liquidate so many. Wished I was closer. Would love to try some "modern" ewes with my new AI Icelandic ram. Should make excellent market lambs. Good luck on your sales.

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I wish I had 100 acres and a zillion dollars, I'd love to buy your flock outright, Bill. I was so pleased with those rams and hate to see that flock dissippated at a time when my hands are tied to even obtain a single additional representative. Arrrgggghhh. What's the timeframe you are working with - maybe something will come up for me - sigh, though I'll be lucky to save MY flock at this rate . . .

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