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Sheep and Goat Identification

Information on sheep and goat identification requirements:

Information on ordering official sheep and goat ear tags/devices:

The National Scrapie Eradication Program provides a limited number of free official ear tags to sheep and goat producers. In response to feedback from and collaboration with the sheep and goat industry, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will provide a limited number of free, plastic tags to first time participants in the sheep and goat identification program through fiscal year (FY) 2020. APHIS is working with the sheep and goat organizations to transition toward electronic identification to improve our nation’s ability to quickly trace exposed and diseased animals in the event of an outbreak. Our goal is to start to transition to electronic identification by fall 2020.  

Currently, APHIS will provide up to 80 plastic flock ID tags, free-of-charge, to producers who have not gotten free tags from USDA in the past. APHIS will discontinue the availability of no-cost metal tags for producers. Dealers and markets may continue to receive metal serial tags at no cost. The no-cost metal tags previously provided to producers will be phased out in summer 2019, when the currently obligated funding is expended. During the phase out, APHIS will continue to provide, upon request, up to 100 serial metal tags free of charge to producers (either regular orange metal serial tags or blue slaughter-only metal serial tags) who haven’t received APHIS-provided tags within the previous 24 months.  Flock ID tag numbers are the producer’s flock ID assigned by APHIS or the State and an individual animal number. Metal serial tag numbers have the state postal abbreviation, 2 letters and 4 numbers. 

To request these official sheep and goat tags, a flock/ premises ID or both, call 1-866-USDA-Tag (866-873-2824). 

Producers and others who handle sheep or goats in commerce who need additional tags or want a different type or color of tag may purchase official plastic, metal or radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags directly from approved tag manufactures. A flock or Premises ID is required to order tags from these sources.  A National Premises ID is also required to purchase official 840 RFID tags or implantable devices.  

For those that use the APHIS-provided tags, please note that you will need to purchase a compatible applicator. The 505S applicator for the official metal tags is available for purchase from the National Band and Tag Company at (859) 261-2035. The “Allflex Universal Tagger” for application of the plastic tags provided by APHIS is available for purchase from multiple sources including directly from Allflex at (833) 727-2743.   

The companies listed below are approved. These ear tags and devices are approved for the official identification of sheep and goats in interstate commerce. There are restrictions on the use of implantable devices, refer to page 55 of the National Scrapie Eradication Program Standards

Note: SFCP tags may only be purchased by owners of flocks participating in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program. Regular program tags may be purchased by any producer who has a flock/premises ID.  

Allflex USA, Inc.
PO Box 612266
2805 East 14th Street
Dallas Ft. Worth Airport, TX 75261-2266
Ph: (833) SCRAPIE  [833-727-2743]
Fax: (972) 338-3445

(RFID and Plastic eartags in several colors- regular and SFCP)

Alliance ID, USA
2199 Manton Drive
Covington, Louisiana 70433
Contact: John Wade, DVM

(RFID 840 microchip transponders in syringes. Universal scanners)  

4412 W 4th Street Road
Greeley, CO 80634
Contact: Elsie McCoy

(RFID - Avid Microchip transponder implants and scanners)

National Band & Tag Company
721 York St., P.O. Box 72430
Newport, KY 41072-0430, USA

Phone: (859) 261-2035
Fax:  (859) 261-8247
Contacts:  Kevin Haas, Sarah Fields

(RFID tags and metal tags in white, green, orange, mauve and bright metal) 

Premier 1 Supplies LLC
2031 300th St 
Washington, IA 52353 
Phone: (800) 282-6631 
Fax: (800) 346-7992 
Web page:
Contact: Customer Service

(Plastic eartags in several colors- regular and SFCP)

Shearwell Data USA
Phone: (320) 760-4696
Web page:
Contact: Dan Persons

(RFID and Plastic eartags in several colors- regular and SFCP)

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