Clark said official identification is specifically defined for each species and it is imperative that exhibitors and their families understand what constitutes official identification for the species they intend to exhibit.
“On the Iowa Beef Center website, we’ve posted a summary of official identification information that includes resources to help explain the various acceptable forms of identification,” Clark said. “In addition, livestock owners should be aware that 4-H and FFA tags do not count as official identification.”
See the two-page animal disease traceability summary resource at www.iowabeefcenter.org/information/AnimalDiseaseTraceabilityInfo.pdf.
Cattle and bison can be officially identified by brands or registration tattoos when this is agreed upon by the state of origin and the state of destination, Clark added.
“In these situations, brands must be registered with brand inspection and accompanied by an official brand inspection certificate and registration tattoos must be accompanied by a certificate of breed registration,” he said.
Because the USDA rule is separate from the show requirements for each individual show, show entry forms and catalogs may or may not describe this official identification as a requirement. But without official identification, it is very possible that an animal could be deemed ineligible for exhibition. Exhibitors should plan ahead and use all available resources to ensure compliance with the official ID requirements.