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Whether livestock producers are ready or not, the wheels are starting to turn on national animal identification as states begin registering animal premises and some producers begin placing electronic ear tags in cattle.
In many ways, animal ID is nothing new.
For the past several decades, animal health officials have kept records and premises numbers in tracking diseases like brucellosis, bovine tuberculosis and scrapie in sheep, said Sam Holland, South Dakota state veterinarian.
‚ÄúWe have to associate a number with a name to keep a database, whether it‚Äôs handwritten in a book or on a computer. We‚Äôve been doing that for years,‚ÄĚ he said.