Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I register my farm's premises?


Registering your premises is the first step in the national animal identification system. All locations housing livestock must first be registered; each individual animal can be identified at a later time.

The U.S. dairy industry has had challenges due to cases of brucellosis, tuberculosis, and BSE, or mad cow disease. We’ve also seen the devastating consequences of the foot and mouth outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001, and the return of FMD to Great Britain in 2007.

Our dairy industry has the opportunity to lead the charge on national animal identification. We cannot wait for another animal health disease to force dairy farmers to track their animals. Now is the time for dairy farmers to join together, which is why these six organizations have come together to form IDairy and encourage premises registration.



How do I register my farm premises?


Each state has its own agency which handles information about farm operations, so we’ve created an easy-to-use form that will be accepted by any of the state agencies. All you have to do is download the form (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat to access the file), and then mail or fax it to IDairy. We’ll then forward it to the agency responsible for premises registration in your state.



What if I wish to also tag individual animals?


IDairy has created specific criteria for dairy cattle tags. You can look at those standards here. In addition, some of the IDairy organizations have their own tags for you to use. Each farmer is responsible for the cost of the tags. For more information on those tags, contact the appropriate organization:


2. Holstein
3. Jersey



Where does the premises registration information go?


State agencies will receive the information about your farm's location. The information is not shared with the USDA or other federal departments, except in the event of a crisis. In a crisis situation, the federal government will have access to that information to prevent the spread of a disease.



Where does the tag information go?


If you decide to tag individual animals, the data from those tags will become part of the National FAIR database. FAIR has been chosen as the preferred private database for dairy animals. Again, this is private-sector information and will not be shared with the government, except in the event of a crisis situation when the government will have access to it.

This material was made possible, in part, by a Cooperative Agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). It may not necessarily express APHIS’ views.