Q: What age/class of beef cattle must have acceptable permanent identification?
A: Sexually intact adult beef cattle 18 months and up, and Mexican origin event cattle. Nursing calves, steers, spayed heifers, bulls and heifers under 18 months are exempt (unless heifer has calved).
 
Q: Where can I find the complete listing of all Commission approved permanent identification devices?
A: Producers may access the complete list at www.tahc.state.tx.us or by contacting any TAHC office or personnel.
 
Q: Do I have to use the free eartags offered, or can I use other acceptable methods of identification?
A: No, the free metal tags are not required to be used, but they are one low cost option.
 
Q: Will ear tag pliers be provided at no cost or will I have to purchase them?
A: A limited supply of eartag pliers is available at no cost. Because of the limited supply, producers are also encouraged to consider purchasing tagging pliers from any Ag supply outlets.
 
Q: Is this rule a federal rule?
A: No, this is a Texas rule, but it will put the beef industry in compliance with the anticipated USDA Animal Disease Traceability rule for interstate movement expected to be released later this year.
 
Q: When does this Texas rule go into effect?
A: To ensure that the cattle industry has ample time to understand the changes and prepare, implementation of this rule will not take effect until January 1, 2013.
 
Q: If my animal already has a silver test tag or orange vaccination tag in its ear, will it need to have a new tag applied if sold at a livestock market?
A: No. Animals presented with approved official Id's at a market will not have to be retagged.
 
Q: Can I move my cattle directly to slaughter from my farm or ranch without an ID?
A: Yes, ranchers can move an animal directly to slaughter from their premise without an ID. Breeding cattle otherwise changing ownership by private treaty (country sales) must have acceptable identification.
 
Q: What happens if my cattle are too weak to be safely tagged at market?
A: The TAHC has proposed an amendment allowing the waiver of the rule by a TAHC inspector in consultation with market ownership or management for weak cattle presented at a sale.
 
Q: Do I need to keep records when I sell my animal(s)?
A: Record keeping is not required when animals are sold, but is strongly encouraged.
 
Q: Who is responsible for maintaining the information related to eartag distribution?
A: All official identification numbers assigned will be maintained in a TAHC-managed database. The TAHC will not track individual change of ownership transactions.
 
For additional ear tag information, including the nearest distributor of free USDA tags, contact the TAHC Traceability Team at 1-800-550-8242 ext. 733, or visit www.tahc.state.tx.us.