Wisconsin Ups RFID-Adoption Incentives for Cattle Growers

US - In an attempt to encourage the use of RFID tags for the vast majority of the state's livestock, Wisconsin is covering 50 percent of the tags' cost.
calendar icon 1 February 2007
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In the face of recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding the identification of livestock, several states have chosen a variety of methods to induce cattle producers to participate in a federal animal-identification program. Only Michigan currently mandates the use of RFID tags to identify cattle, while more than a dozen states have introduced legislation to limit attempts to require the use of RFID for livestock. In Wisconsin, however, livestock producers can take advantage of an incentive program for the purchasing of USDA-approved ISO 11784/11785 passive 134.2 kHz RFID tags. The program is intended to keep the price of the tags close to that of the ear tags previously utilized, consisting of a piece of plastic imprinted with a unique ID number.

The USDA initiated the National Animal Identification System (NAIS)—a cooperative partnership between state and federal governments and the livestock industry—in 2004 to standardize and expand animal identification programs and practices to all livestock species, including poultry. The NAIS intends to enable animal-health officials to identify all livestock and premises that have had direct contact with a disease of concern, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as "mad cow disease," which some studies suggest may be linked to Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans.

While the USDA has ruled that the RFID-tagging of livestock should be done on a voluntary basis, each state's programs depend on a region's disease history, the perceived economic risk in not tagging cattle and public opinion on RFID technology. Michigan's mandate requires the RFID-tagging of all cattle by March 2007.

Source: RFID Journal

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