The first visual swine identification tag has received USDA approval. The premise identification tag, manufactured by Destron Fearing, will provide a valuable tool to enhance the identification of swine entering harvest channels and to support the USDA's National Animal Identification System.

Consisting of a pink tamper-proof button and a pink visual panel stud, each tag carries the official USDA shield, the assigned premises identification number and a notice stating "unlawful to remove". In addition, there is space available on the visual panel for producers to include an individual management number.

"Over 73 percent of pork producing sites have registered their premises and received a premises identification number, or PIN," said Patrick Webb, director of swine health programs for the National Pork Board. "Having premises identified is the first step in improving the animal health infrastructure of the country. The availability of USDA-approved tags for market sows is a logical next step toward enhancing traceability and improving the industry's ability to detect diseases earlier so the spread of a disease can be limited efficiently."