So far, the species working group representing cattle is the only one to submit National Animal Identification System (NAIS) recommendations to USDA and have those recommendations approved. Other species working groups are in various stages of developing and submitting recommendations.

If recommendations being discussed by these working groups are approved, this is how they would identify stock in order to comply with NAIS:

  • Swine — The industry would base NAIS compliance on the Pseudorabies Virus Eradication program, which made ID mandatory in 1989. The industry would modify its current numbering system to match NAIS.

    Growing and finishing stock would primarily be identified and tracked as “lifetime” production groups with a group/lot ID number. Official NAIS eartags would replace the current use of back-tags for individual breeding stock and other individual stock entering commerce and commingled.

  • Sheep — The National Scrapies Eradication Program, in conjunction with group/lot ID for animals younger than 18 months (and handled as a production group), would provide NAIS compliance, it's believed. The eradication program already requires most breeding stock older than 18 months of age to be identified with official scrapies ID tags.

  • Poultry — Commercial production (broiler/meat and layer/egg) primarily revolves around all-in, all-out production units, so these industries' recommendations will likely focus on group/lot ID and tracking. Individual ID (leg bands, wing bands, etc.) would be used for non-commercial poultry and breeding stock entering commerce outside of “lifetime” production groups.

  • Horses — NAIS compliance would begin with currently utilized technologies (tattoos, DNA, brands, microchips), then adopt an industry standard. Electronic microchips implanted in the neck appear to be the current favorite.

  • Cervidae (domestic deer, elk, etc.) — RFID eartags would be utilized on all animals entering commerce or being commingled with animals from other unique locations.

  • Camelids (llamas, camels, etc.) — Implantable electronic microchips.

Based on reports submitted by species working groups at the ID Info/Expo in September.