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Important Information About Official Swine ID Ear Tags

Official Swine ID – FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

With the USDA Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rules now in place there is an increasing emphasis on livestock traceability within State and Federal agencies and the livestock industry. More and more producers are hearing about Official ID products and specifically to this article, how it pertains to swine.

There are two main categories when it comes to Official ID for Swine. There are “840” tags and there is the “Swine Premises Tag”. Below are the details and common questions for both.

840 Tags:

What is an 840 tag?

840 tags are USDA approved tags for official individual animal identification. They will have a unique 15 digit number that always starts with “840” which is the country code for the United States. A manufacturer has to be approved by the USDA to produce a specific 840 tag.

What is a common use for 840 tags in Swine?

Increasingly 840 tags are being required for Swine Shows, State and County Fairs and Auctions. They can also be used for Interstate Commerce.

How do I purchase 840 tags?

You must have a registered Premises ID before you can purchase 840 Tags. If you don’t have your Premises ID you should start with contacting your State Animal Health Agency. You can find your respective state’s contact information at the following link: http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf


Once you have your Premises ID you can order your 840 tags and tag applicator by Destron Fearing from Hog Slat.  (See chart below)

840 Ear Tags Chart

Swine Premises (PIN) tags:

Why is a Swine Premises tag commonly referred to as a PIN tag?

Swine Premises tags are official location identification for cull breeding stock (cull sows and boars). The minimum requirement is for them to be used on cull breeding animals just prior to entering harvest channels from their farm of origin.

What does PIN stand for?

Premises Identification Number. It is a unique 7 character alpha-numeric national site identifier.

Can I use them for identifying feeder pigs/weaner pigs for movement and/or show pigs?

No, they are for use with animals in the breeding herd only.

Why was January 1st, 2015 important for Swine Premises tags?

That was the date that the swine industry and packers/processors agreed on to make PIN tags a requirement of sale. If a producer wants to receive full value for their cull breeding animals from that date forward, the animals need an Official Swine Premises tag in their ear before leaving their farm of origin.

When should I apply the PIN tags to my animals?

Most producers are applying them to new breeding animals as they enter the breeding herd and are using it as their management tag. You may also apply them when culling an animal from the farm, just prior to the animal entering harvest channels.

How do I purchase Swine Premises (PIN) tags?

You must have a registered Premises ID (National 7 character alpha-numeric ID) before you can purchase Swine Premises Tags. If you don’t have your Premises ID you should start with contacting your State Animal Health Agency. You can find your respective state’s contact information at the following link: http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf


Once you have your Premises ID you can order your Swine Premises tags and tag applicator by Destron Fearing™ from Hog Slat.  (See chart below)

PIN Ear Tags Chart_900x450

Hog Slat also offers a wide selection of Destron Fearing™ livestock identification tags for your cattleswinesheep and goatsClick here to shop the entire line of animal identification tags and accessories.

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