USDA's final report on National Animal Identification System (NAIS) pilot projects conducted throughout 2004 says the retention rate of the button-like radio frequency identification (RFID) tags was nearly 100%. Other results include:

  • Existing animal health and marketing programs can be an effective, producer-friendly means of collecting data for NAIS.

  • Workable options are available for producers who want to ID their animals electronically without investing in reader equipment.

  • Use of electronic ID allows more accurate and efficient record keeping, significantly reduces data-entry errors, enhances business practices and decreases labor costs.

  • Use of RFID at auction markets improves animal welfare and human safety by reducing animal restraint when recording their ID numbers.

  • ID used for NAIS can support other programs, including value-added opportunities.

Read more details in the “Pilot Project Report” section of www.usda.gov/nais. Click on “NAIS Library” in the top toolbar, and scroll down to “NAIS Plans and Reports.”