Many major U.S. packers and processors will require a USDA-approved official premises identification number (PIN) swine tag as a condition of sale for breeding stock effective Jan. 1, 2015. The move is designed to improve pre-harvest traceability and national disease surveillance in the pork industry.  

“This is a positive step for our industry as we continue to create a more robust surveillance and traceability system that can help protect our animals, our livelihoods and our customers,” says National Pork Board President, Karen Richter, a producer from Montgomery, MN. “That's why I encourage producers who may not already be using official PIN tags to register their premises and begin using the tags now.”

Pork Checkoff's director of swine health Patrick Webb, DVM, says the USDA-approved, official PIN tags for breeding swine are customizable with or without a management number and can be purchased in multiple colors.

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“This allows producers to use the official tag in any color as a management tag or wait to apply the tag to sows and boars before leaving the production site to enter harvest channels,” he says.

Once an animal is identified with an official PIN tag, it should not be removed or given a different official tag in the case of parity-segregated farms. Also, records documenting the identification and movement of breeding stock should be kept for three years.   

Allflex USA, Inc., Destron Fearing and Y-Tex Corporation have USDA approval to manufacture official PIN swine tags. When ordering, producers must provide the nationally standardized PIN for the breeding farm. If the site does not have a PIN, producers can register for one by going to www.pork.org/PINtag.

To date, packers that will require PIN tags as of Jan.1, 2015 include: Johnsonville, Hillshire Brands, Calihan Pork Processors, Bob Evans Farms, Wampler's Farm Sausage, Pine Ridge Farms, Pioneer Packing Co., Pork King Packing and Abbyland Pork Pack.

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