Free RFID tags, plus livestock indemnity assistance from the federal government

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

July 2021

Free RFID tags available to select producers and veterinarians

Y-Tex tag example

Who can order free tags? Tags are currently available through September 30, 2021 to producers and veterinarians for replacement heifers and bison in Minnesota. Consider taking advantage of this official ID for free while supplies last! Producers should order the number of tags needed for replacement heifers for one year. Veterinarians may order a quantity appropriate to their practice.

How do you order tags? In Minnesota, RFID tags can be ordered on the Board of Animal Health website. Visit to complete a quick online form and place your order. Ear tag applicators are not included with your tag order and you must purchase them from the tag manufacturer for the brand of tags you receive. Do not use an incorrect applicator because it could damage your tags.

Producers will need to provide:

Veterinarians will need to provide:

  • Contact information.
  • Accreditation number.
  • Clinic information.
  • The brand and amount of tags you’d like to order.

Keep reading...

Reminder: VCPR extension expired July 1, 2021

The COVID-19 temporary extension of time from 12 months to 18 months since the last examination for a valid veterinarian-client-patient-relationship expired July 1, 2021.

Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program - now accepting applications

The USDA recently announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) for livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic because of a lack of access to processing. Interested and qualifying producers can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.

According to the USDA announcement, "The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. PLIP payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance."

Please note, eligible livestock owners include persons or legal entities who, as of the day the eligible livestock was depopulated, had legal ownership of the livestock. Packers, live poultry dealers and contract growers are not eligible for PLIP.

PLIP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible livestock or poultry by the payment rate per head, and then subtracting the amount of any payments the eligible livestock or poultry owner has received for disposal of the livestock or poultry under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or a state program. The payments will also be reduced by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1 and 2) payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.

Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for PLIP until September 17, 2021.

Temporary DNR restriction on white-tailed deer ends July 31

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued an emergency rule temporarily prohibiting the movement of all farmed white-tailed deer within the state, with the exception of deer being transported to slaughter. The rule has been in effect since Tuesday, June 1, and it ends Saturday, July 31.

New North Dakota state veterinarian

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring has appointed Dr. Ethan Andress as the state veterinarian and the animal health division director at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA).

“We are pleased to have Dr. Andress join the department and lead our state in the effort to prevent, manage and control contagious animal health diseases,” Goehring said. “Dr. Andress brings valuable experience in the field of veterinary medicine and extensive knowledge of bovine, equine and bison medicine."

In his new role, Dr. Andress will work closely with Agriculture Commissioner Goehring and the State Board of Animal Health and will oversee NDDA’s animal health division, which is charged with protecting the health of domestic animals and non-traditional livestock, and administering all rules and orders of the State Board of Animal Health.

Dr. Andress officially started July 12, 2021. Former State Veterinarian Dr. Susan Keller retired June 30, 2021, after more than 23 years of service to the state.

Special Board Meeting

The Board of Animal Health will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, July 28 at 9:00 a.m. at the Sleepy Eye Event Center, 110 12th Ave NE, Sleepy Eye, MN 56085. There is limited space for in-person attendance at the venue. The meeting will be broadcast live on Microsoft Teams.

Please consider joining the meeting remotely via Microsoft Teams or by telephone at 763-317-4323, enter access code: 552535346#.

No public comment (including members of the advisory committee) will be taken at this meeting, and Board members will not respond to comments.

The purpose of this special meeting is for Board members and Board rulemaking staff to discuss the proposed draft of the farmed Cervidae rule amendments, and for the Board members to vote on a motion to approve the rules draft.

All public comment opportunities are identified in the rulemaking timeline link below. There will be a small number of Board staff in the room to facilitate the meeting and provide the rules draft for the Board members to discuss.

Additional documents: