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Equine Identification

Information on the Animal Disease Traceability program, procedures for horse microchip implantation and premise registration.

From 2007-2009, Penn State Equine Identification Project collected information about the advantages and disadvantages of the USDA National Animal Identification System (NAIS), now called the Animal Disease Traceability program. The information collected during the study assisted USDA in determining the identification system for equine. Under the final rule, adopted March 11, 2013, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.

The Animal Disease Traceability program includes a database of livestock animals - including horses - in the United States. Its purpose is to help producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to animal health events. Under the traceability program, equine require an official certificate of veterinary inspection for interstate travel. This certificate can only be issued by a certified veterinarian. APHIS provides a complete explanation of requirements for equine identification.

One method of identification is the use of a microchip. The Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection can provide the microchip identification number. Microchipping a horse also can be utilized in lost or displaced equine, as a means of quickly identifying the equine when paperwork is not available. Therefore, Penn State research indicates that when performed according to standard protocol, microchip insertion is not detrimental to the health of the horse. (Health factors associated with microchip insertion in horses. M.I. Gerber, A.M. Swinker, W.B. Staniar, J.R. Werner, E. A. Jedrzejewski, A.L. Macrina, The Pennsylvania State University).

Instructions, including video and pictures, to correctly implant an identification microchip in your horse.

From 2007 to 2009, the Penn State Equine Identification Project collected information about the advantages and disadvantages of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has instituted an Animal Disease Traceability Program to improve its ability to trace livestock in the event of a disease outbreak.