Premises registration is the identification of a location where livestock are raised, housed, or pass through during commerce. The Premises Identification Number (PIN) is a standardized unique identifier assigned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) after the site is registered through the state.
Animal identification is the process by which pigs are identified either as part of a group, or lot, or individually. Individual identification would be required when pigs are commingled with other sources (feeder swine markets, sale barns, cull markets, etc.). For most grow-finish pigs within a production system, a group/lot or premises identification, and for sows/boars an official premises tag when entering the harvest chain, will be adequate animal identification. In most cases, situations requiring the use of official identification tags will not result in the purchase of additional tags over and above what is normally purchased by producers. The USDA and the pork industry have been working with tag manufacturers, distributors and resellers to ensure that producers have the ability to buy compliant production tags that can be applied by the producer as an official form of individual animal identification. Examples include the development of compliant 4-H and FFA tags and compliant sow/boar production tags.
Animal tracing is accomplished through the accurate and timely record-keeping of animal movements by producers. Reporting of animal movements to animal health officials may be required for interstate transport or for animal disease control programs.
The official identification and traceback of swine in commerce is a regulated process. Since the late 1980s the U.S. swine industry has had a mandatory system for traceback of swine that have entered into harvest channels to the last farm of ownership. This includes very specific means of identification for market swine and market sows and boars, as laid out in the Federal Code of Regulations.
The Swine ID Plan is an industry initiative to implement a set of program standards for the identification of swine developed in 2004 by the industry to enhance the current federal regulations. There are three key components to implementing the Swine ID Plan – premises identification, animal identification and animal tracing.
Premises Registration is the identification of a location where livestock are raised, housed, or pass through during commerce. The standard Premises Identification Number (standard PIN), is a seven-character alphanumeric code, with the right-most character being a check digit, which is assigned by the USDA after the site is registered through the state. Nationally, over 95 percent of the estimated swine premises have a standard PIN. This is different than the state PINs which start with the state’s two-letter postal abbreviation followed by the premises’ state-assigned number.
Animal Identification is the process by which pigs are officially identified either as part of a group, or lot, or individually. Pork producers will be responsible for officially identifying their swine in compliance with the Swine ID Plan’s program standards which includes the parameters for officially identifying groups and individual animals.
Animal Tracing is accomplished by using the program standards in the Swine ID Plan, which include parameters for an animal movement record to be generated each time one of a set of events occurs, such as movement to a new premises or harvest facility. A movement record would include the animal’s or group’s identification number, the premise identification number of the sending and receiving premises, the date of movement, number of head moved and the reason for movement. Records will be maintained for three years after the swine leave the premises and will be available to animal health officials for inspection.
The Swine ID Plan will provide the ability to determine origin of swine that enter harvest channels through the use of producer, packer, state and federally required records. Over the last five years the National Pork Board has been conducting an educational campaign that focus on implementing the key components to the Swine ID Plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions about the Swine ID Plan, go to the Pork Checkoff’s Swine ID FAQs page.