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Animal Disease Traceability

What is Animal Disease Traceability?

The Animal Disease Traceability Program is a national animal health program developed by the USDA and state animal health officials in cooperation with industry.  Individual official animal identification and premises identification increase traceability from farm to harvest, which is our front line to reducing the impact of an animal disease outbreak. 

Animal Disease Traceability News

USDA APHIS Announces Final Animal Disease Traceability Rule

On April 26, 2024, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) announced the final ADT rule to increase and strengthen animal disease traceability (ADT) for certain cattle and bison.  

A copy of the final rule can be viewed at Microsoft Word - 21-020-3 ( and a list of Frequently Asked Questions can be viewed at Microsoft Word - ADT QA DRAFT 041724 (  Please visit APHIS’ Animal Disease Traceability webpage at Traceability ( for more information.  The rule will take effect 180 days from publication in the Federal Register.  USDA APHIS states the rule will be published in the coming weeks.  IDOA will update this announcement with the final date, once published.  

Key changes focus on the use of electronic identification (EID) as the official identification for all sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age and older, all dairy cattle of any age, and any cattle used for rodeo, recreation, or exhibition moving interstate.  This identification will be required to be read visually and electronically.  Please note that cattle and bison going directly to slaughter are still exempted from official identification requirements under this rule.  Also, visual ear tags applied to an animal prior to the effective date of the rule will be recognized for the lifetime of that animal. 

In addition, the rule will change the definition of dairy cattle to “All cattle, regardless of age or sex or current use, that are of a breed(s) or offspring of a breed used to produce milk or other dairy products for human consumption, including, but not limited to Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn, and Red and Whites.”

Other changes regarding record keeping can be found within the full rule linked above. 

To support this transition, the Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare continues to offer free electronic 840 tags to cattle and bison producers for use in replacement cattle.  Please see the information on this page below to order these tags. 

Individual Animal Official Identification

One of the most critical activities in an animal disease response is tracing the movement of animals. An efficient and accurate traceability system reduces the number of animals and response time involved in a disease investigation; which, in turn, reduces the economic impact on owners and affected communities.

The USDA Animal Disease Traceability Home Site describes goals, resources, and information on the animal disease traceability program and approved identification devices. On this website are listings of approved devices for animal identification.  Below are some of the documents for your convenience.

USDA Approved AIN Devices

USDA Approved NUES tags

USDA Approved PIN tags for slaughter swine

Cattle & Bison Identification Program for Producers and Veterinarians

Through an agreement with USDA, a limited supply of electronic "840" tags are being made available for producers and veterinarians for use on replacement cattle and bison.  Links are below for information on this program. Please note that while the tags are provided at no charge, there is a flat shipping rate of $30 for orders (minimum order of 100 tags, up to 500). Pick-up from the Department is available during regular office hours (Monday-Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm, excluding State and Federal Holidays. 

Veterinarian Information

Letter to Veterinarians.pdf

RFID 840 Tag Veterinarian Order Form.pdf

Monthly Report of Tags Applied.xls

Producer Information

Letter to Producers.pdf

RFID 840 Tag Producer Order Form.pdf

Livestock Premises Identification

Premises Identification involves assigning a unique number to premises involved in animal agriculture. Allied agricultural operations and non-producer participants can also be assigned Premises Identification Numbers. Information utilized to register a premises will be maintained by the Illinois Department of Agriculture and is protected. During an animal health emergency key pieces will be shared with the USDA for animal disease tracing purposes. Premises Identification is voluntary at this time and is offered at no cost to the producer.

Registering your premises is free and easy. Download and complete the Registration Form and return it to us by email, fax, or mail. Once registration is complete you will receive a premises identification number (PIN) certificate via mail or email. 

Move? No longer have livestock? Have changes to the species on the property, or has your contact information changed? Please keep your information up to date. You can either fill out a new form and check "Update" at the top of the page, or give us a call at 217-782-4944. If you don't know your PIN, no worries! We can look it up by the address or your contact information. 

Have more questions? Read our FAQ to learn more.  Our Illinois industry partners have also compiled basic information here.

For questions about animal disease traceability contact us:

Illinois Department of Agriculture​​
Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare
State Fairgrounds - P.O. Box 19281
Springfield, Illinois 62794-9281

Telephone: 217/782-4944
Fax: 217/558-6033