Your article about Dr. Ellen Hooker's visit to Waupaca County entitled, "Wisconsin has new I.D. regulations for sheep and goats" written by Dan Hansen, suggested that identification (ID) regulations for sheep and goats have recently been changed.
In actuality, the regulations are not new, but many find them to be confusing and are incorrectly following the regulations.
We would like to clarify some of the misunderstandings that we noted in the article concerning tattoos, sheep or goats destined for slaughter and neutered animals.
The only approved tattoos for official ID include: breed association or registration tattoo with management number accompanied by registration papers in the owner's name or flock ID along with a unique management number. The article suggested that the requirement was to have both.
All sheep and goats imported into the state need official ID and must have a valid certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI).
The only exception to this is that animals moving directly to slaughter or to a federally approved import market do not require a valid CVI; official ID is still required.
The article suggested that those destined for slaughter or market must have a valid CVI but did not require official ID.
The article stated that blue metal or plastic ear tags with the words "slaughter only" or "meat" are required for animals that are to be sold for slaughter.
Although these tags are acceptable official ID for sheep and goats going direct to slaughter, Wisconsin regulations do not require these tags.
Any animal over the age of 12 months that is leaving its primary farm must have official ID regardless of whether they are neutered or destined for slaughter.
The article suggested that any neutered animal or one going to slaughter did not require ID. This exception applies only when the animals are under 12 months of age.
We hope this helps to clear up some of the confusion concerning the ID regulations in place in Wisconsin, and we encourage those with questions to refer to datcp.wi.gov
for more information.
DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVIM, veterinary program manager
DVM, district veterinarian
DVM, program veterinarian
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Division of Animal Health