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Wayne Maloney  (301) 734-7255
Jerry Redding      (202) 720-4623

USDA APPROVES ADDITIONAL ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION TAG MANUFACTURER

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that Y-Tex Corporation of Cody, Wyo., is an approved manufacturer of the official animal identification number (AIN) tags.  AIN tags are used to identify individual animals as part of USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS).
  
“These tags not only meet NAIS and interstate commerce identification requirements, but producers may also use them for numerous industry programs like breed registry, performance recording, verification programs and herd management,” said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs mission area.  “This ‘one-tag-one number’ per animal provides a comparable, workable identification solution for many different programs.”

Y-Tex Corporation is the fourth manufacturer that provides NAIS-compliant identification devices.   Other approved manufacturers include Allflex USA, Inc., of Dallas, Texas, Digital Angel Corporation of South St. Paul, Minn., and Global Animal Management/Gissler Technologies of Plymouth, Minn.  There are now a total of six approved AIN tags.
 
AIN tags are designed for one-time use, and each tag is imprinted with an AIN, which is a 15-digit, nationally unique number for animals covered by NAIS.  Other distinguishing features include the U.S. shield and the term “Unlawful to Remove.”   AIN tags may incorporate other supplemental identification technology, such as radio frequency identification (RFID).  All six of the APHIS-approved AIN tags contain an ISO-compliant RFID transponder.
    
NAIS is a modern, streamlined information system that helps producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to animal health events in the United States.  The program, which is voluntary at the federal level, consists of three parts:  premises registration, animal identification and tracing.  So far, more than 399,200 premises across the country have been registered as part of the program, and producers with registered premises have obtained more than 1.7 million AIN tags.

Only APHIS-approved AIN manufacturers are authorized to manufacture AIN tags.  For more information on NAIS and a list of approved AIN tag manufacturer’s, please visit www.usda.gov/nais.

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