The USDA will give away 8 million radio-frequency ear tags to cattle and bison ranchers, furthering the agency's goal to phase out metal identification tags. The free ear tags will trace animals exposed to diseases and protect the livestock industry, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Greg Ibach said in a statement Wednesday.
"This will not only help offset the costs of switching to RFID tags, but also help us more quickly respond to potential disease events," he said.
Mandatory radio-frequency identification, or RFID, tags are supported by some producers as the 21st century way to track cattle and keep disease outbreaks from closing foreign markets.
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