Recent modifications in the Scrapie law may cause some confusion as to how this affects our herds, Official Animal Identification, and Registrations. Here are listed IGSCR’s thoughts on the subject. Additionally, we quote from Dr. Diane Sutton’s letters to IGSCR in March and April of 2019.

If you are importing/exporting, USDA’s website provides guidance for the requirements for each animal in this category.


  1. Is IGSCR assigned tattoos for sheep and goats recognized by the USDA?  We are currently, as we speak, awaiting process of our application to Dr Diane Sutton for acceptance.
  2. Is every goat or sheep herd required to have a Scrapie Premise ID?  No. USDA would like for them to, but it is not required, unless your registry is not yet recognized by the USDA and your animals will/are all or partly being sold
  3. How do I apply for a Scrapie Premise ID?  Call 866-873-2824 to have a herd/flock ID assigned.  They can give you 80 free metal tags or can direct you to location to purchase applicator or other forms of scrapie tags.
  4. What if I want my Veterinarian to insert microchips or insert them myself. Are those valid forms of ID?  Well, not necessarily.  All 840 of those microchips would need to be assigned  by your veterinarian. In order for your veterinarian to do so, you must have already called the above number and obtained from the USDA your Herd/Flock ID and National PIN number.  If you have placed your own microchips in your animals, I will obtain information on this.  Better plan is for you to call the above number and have he USDA send you the 840 microchips, so that they are then official ID… In talking to another USDA office then just give me the microchip number you have placed in the ears of your animal.
  5. How do you use the microchips? The implant is placed between the skin and the cartilage of the back side of the ear near where the ear joins the head or between the skin and the bone of the tail near the base of the tail. The animal is tattooed with a legible “E” if the implant is at the base of the ear, or “ET” if the implant is in the tail fold and tattoo at least 0.3 inches high in the ear or, in the case of earless animals, the tail fold.
  6. Can I use scrapie tags on collars as official ID? The collar must be non detachable and safe. If adding a scrapie tag would cover up the previous tattoo, then yes collars with the Scrapie tag can be used.
  7. If any changes/additions are made to the permanent ID of animal, the IGSCR office must be notified immediately. No registration certificate may be modified by anyone, other than the IGSCR office or this renders the registration certificate void.

Quotes from letters between Dr Diane Sutton and IGSCR

“We encourage herds to get herd/flock IDs assigned but it is only required if you want to get official eartags or EIDs, or if you want to use herd/flock ID tattoos, group/lot IDs or a tattoo from a registry that is not approved. Call 866-USDA-TAG (866-873-2824) to have a herd/flock ID assigned.

Before a goat it is moved in commerce it must be officially identified to the herd of birth or the herd where it currently resides unless it is of a class exempted by both state and federal rules. If they don’t have an official scrapie tag:

  •  If they have not gotten tags from APHIS before they can request up to 80 no cost plastic tags by calling the USDA TAG number.
  • After getting a herd/flock ID they can buy official tags from an official tag manufacture see list on our web page or apply a herd/flock ID tattoo or if they provided there registered tattoo prefix to APHIS when they got there herd/flock ID they can use a registry tattoo from any registry for registered animals moving with their registration certificate and legible registry tattoo.
  • They can have an accredited veterinarian or federally approved market apply a tag
  • They can use a tattoo from an approved registry if the animal is registered”

About use of scrapie tags on collars:

“Animals that cannot be ear tagged because of absent or injured ears, or because the application of an eartag would obscure an official tattoo, may have the official eartag attached to a durable neck strap or collar that can only be removed by cutting the strap, collar, or eartag and which must accommodate the expected growth of the animal. When a neck strap or collar is used in this manner, the neck strap or collar with eartag must be treated the same as an eartag and may not be removed or replaced other than as allowed in 9 CFR 79.2(h). If moving directly to slaughter, an APHIS approved-backtag may be applied instead within 3 inches of the poll.”


“The vet would need to have 840 microchips and she would need to have a premises and flock ID so that the vet could transfer the ID to her. The better plan might be for her to call the 866-873-2824 USDA tag number get a flock ID and National PIN number. She need to be clear that she wants a National PIN so she can purchase microchips so that they give her the right kind of PIN and enter it into the scrapie database.  She can then purchase the 840 chips from EzID or Alliance. If she doesn’t want to apply them herself she can have a vet do it. I have pasted the microchip requirements from the program standards below:

Electronic implantable identification (EID)

  • Registered sheep or goats and animals from flocks listed in the NSD required to be individually identified by 9 CFR 79.3, may be identified with an EID if:
    • The implant is placed between the skin and the cartilage of the back side of the ear near where the ear joins the head or between the skin and the bone of the tail near the base of the tail;
    • The animal is tattooed with a legible “E” if the implant is at the base of the ear, or “ET” if the implant is in the tail fold;
    • The tattoo is at least 0.3 inches high in the ear or, in the case of earless animals, the tail fold;
    • The animal is not in slaughter channels or moving through a concentration point where a transfer of ownership will occur, such as a livestock market or buying station, excluding sales of registered animals where an application for transfer of registration is completed and accompanies the animal when it leaves the sale or premises of origin;
  • For registered animals:
    • The electronic implant number has been recorded in the book of record of a sheep or goat registry association and on the registration certificate; and
    • The animal is accompanied by a copy of the registration certificate and, if not in the name of the current owner, a copy of the completed application for transfer of ownership in the name of the current owner where the sale occurred within 60 days, or for animals under 60 days of age, a copy of a completed application for registration.
  • For animals from flocks listed in the NSD (which may also be used for registered animals that originate from flocks listed in the NSD):
    • The animal is legibly tattooed with the flock identification number in the ear, or, in the case of earless animals, the tail fold; or, in animals where the tail fold is too small, the flank;
    • The animal is accompanied by an ICVI or, if an ICVI is not otherwise required, an owner/hauler statement that lists the flock of origin, the flock ID number, the electronic implant number, and, if required by 9 CFR 79.2(a)(1), the flock of birth.
  • The animal is accompanied by an implant reader that can read the implant in the animal and is made available for use by APHIS or State authorities to verify the implant number in the animal;
  • The movement is either for exhibition purposes or other movement without change in ownership, or for change in ownership that includes transfer of the registration papers, or for change in ownership that may not include transfer of registration papers but is directly to a flock listed in the NSD and the animal is tattooed as required in paragraph f) of this section and where the new owner has a reader that can read the implant in the animal;
  • The implant is used in accordance with other applicable laws and regulations; and
  • The implant complies with ISO 11784 and ISO 11785, or has been approved as a new device type as described above, and the device was approved under 9 CFR 79.2(k). The implant number must be an Animal Identification Number (840) issued to the flock of origin in the AIMS module of the NSD or applied to the animal before March 11, 2015.”