Illinois cattleman considering electronic identification tags

An Illinois cattleman is considering utilizing electronic identification tags for his herd.

Newly elected Illinois Beef Association President Dave Duzan of McLean County tells Brownfield many producers who don’t use EID tags are concerned about information security, but he wants to be prepared for a foreign animal disease outbreak.

“We run a backgrounding operation and move calves about every 30 days, and if we aren’t able to move calves for 60 or 90 days, what do producers think that would do for a cash flow? I mean that’s a big hit.”

EID tags would allow USDA officials to quickly trace sick and exposed animals to stop the spread of disease and limit how long farms are quarantined allowing producers to return to the market sooner.   

Duzan says a Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak would be a huge market disruptor and preparation is key.

“If we think COVID had an effect on live cattle marketing or the Holcomb Kansas fire or the major storm they had in Texas, this would probably be all of those rolled into one.”

The EID system is currently voluntary, but the USDA submitted a proposed rule earlier this year to require electronic identification tags for interstate movement of certain cattle and bison.

Brownfield interviewed Duzan at the Illinois Beef Association’s annual meeting last week where they hosted a panel discussion on EID.

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