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Agricultural News

State Vet Rod Hall Offers Show Swine Tips

Wed, 13 Nov 2019 15:16:05 CST

State Vet Rod Hall Offers Show Swine Tips Ahead of tagging and bleeding all of your OYE hogs. Dr. Rod Hall, Oklahoma State Veterinarian, offers some advice to avoid infections and lost tags this year.

"All pigs that are tested after December 1, 2019 must have an electronic 840 tag applied when they are tested. Make sure when you order tags that they are electronic 840 tags. 840 is the first three numbers of official USDA tags. Tags that begin with numbers that are not 840 are not official tags. As official USDA Identification, the 840 tags must not be removed. In the past we have allowed non electronic 840 tags to be used but this year we will not allow them. If you have or someone wants to use non electronic 840 tags they cannot be used and electronic tags must be acquired and used. Do not combine OYE and 840 tags. Hogs that are nominated for OYE must have the 840 tag applied before or at bleeding and the OYE tag can be applied just prior to the show but the 840 must stay in until the hog is slaughtered or dies.

"I encourage all veterinarians who work with swine exhibitors to purchase and have on hand some of the proper tags, as not all exhibitors will have tags through their 4-H or FFA group.

There are three things that cause problems with tag retention.

1.      Improper Placement it's best to place the tag in the lower portion of the ear as close to the head as possible without putting pressure on the lower cartilage rib and with the thicker numbered button inside the ear.

2.      Improper applicator for the tag used different tags require different applicators. Look further down this message for recommendations.

3.      Infection - infection causes itching and tags start to get hung up on fence anywhere where the animal rubs. Disinfection of the tags and ear prior to application will prevent some of this.

"I know a veterinarian who tested and tagged 2,000 swine last winter and only had 5-6 tags come out and two of those were removed because of infection. He uses an Allflex HDX 840 Official RFID Button Tag. These tags are a little more expensive (about $2.75 per tag) than some others but have shown to be very effective. Allflex also has an FDX 840 Official RFID Button Tag that is less expensive. Both tags may be applied with the Allflex Universal Total tagger with the black insert removed or the EID Ultra Retract-O-Matic. The little arrow on the tag should point up to keep from damaging the microchip in the tag. Please watch the videos below for proper applicator usage and tag placement.

"Never use buttons that are a different brand or that are purchased separately from the ID portion of the tag. This can result in the tags not fitting properly and may lead to the male portion slipping out of the female portion of the tag. The ID portion (thicker part) of the tag should be on the inside of the ear.

"Infection is more of a problem in show animals than in other livestock because they are kept up in confined spaces where there is a greater chance of contact with bacteria. It's a good idea to spray a disinfectant like Chlorhexidine on the tag prior to application or dip it in a small container of chlorhexidine.

"An 840 tag must be applied either before the blood sample is taken for PRV and Brucellosis or at the time of the sampling. Individual exhibitors may purchase electronic 840 tags for their pigs using their Premises ID Number, but in most cases the tags will have been purchased by an Ag Chapter, a County Association, or by the veterinarian. Tags from any of these sources are acceptable as official ID as long as they are electronic tags that start with 840. The veterinarian should record the 840 tag number as well as the ear notches of the pig along with the PIN of the exhibitor on the test chart.

"If a pig already has an 840 tag (if it was purchased in another state or at a sale such as Fall Classic) do not remove that tag. It must be used as the official ID for the pig. Counties that use the official ID for their nominations must use the tag that is already in the pig. It cannot be removed and replaced with a County tag.

"Many (most?) microchip readers that are fairly common in veterinary clinics will read the 840 number chip in the tags. Several veterinarians have used this method to be able to see the tag number more easily. More and more people are purchasing wands or readers that make reading the tags easier. Some allflex readers can be seen here: http://www.allflexusa.com/our-products/readers/ . There is a bundle of products that includes a RFID reader and a tablet PC that are both loaded with ID software that makes reading and recording the tag information much simpler. You can look at it here: https://mobileid.webflow.io/#Contact-us at the bottom of the page. There are free phone apps that can be used to download from these readers and then emailed and handled to make reading and moving the data easier. There are some videos below will help you understand the proper way to apply the tags. You can access those videos here: http://www.allflexusa.com/videos/ at the bottom of the page."

Source: Dr. Rod Hall, Oklahoma State Veterinarian



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