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Beef Cattle

Virginia Animal ID Program

Except for beef feeder cattle, all cattle moving to a public sale (livestock market, buying station or sale barn) or public exhibition in Virginia should be identified with an official ear tag. Sale or event managers may provide a tagging service at their locations, but may also charge a fee for this service. Official ear tags are available from the Office of Veterinary Services, from accredited veterinarians or from a number of online vendors. Please note that if you purchase 840-series ear tags, a Premises Identification Number will be required.

All beef and dairy cattle moving interstate must be officially identified and must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) except under the following conditions:

  • Beef feeder cattle less than 18-months of age do not have to be individually identified, but must be accompanied by a complete CVI.
  • Cattle moving interstate direct to a slaughter facility from an approved market or buying station may be identified with an official back tag and do not require a CVI.
  • Cattle moving temporarily to an adjacent state for grazing purposes that do not change ownership must be officially identified, but do not require a CVI. A signed Commuter Herd Agreement must be in place with both states before cattle move in this manner.
  • Cattle moving from Virginia to an approved livestock market and tagging site in one of the following states do not have to be identified and do not have to have a CVI – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Cattle will be tagged with official ID at the destination market and owners may be charged a tagging fee.

Richard Odom
Virginia Animal Disease Traceability Program

Premises Registration: prem.id@vdacs.virginia.gov 

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