There are a variety of diseases that cattle owners should be aware of. These include:
- Bovine Brucellosis
- Bovine Tuberculosis (TB)
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE)
- Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD)
- Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)
- Johne's Disease
- Salmonella Dublin
Diseases need to be reported to the Department when they meet certain criteria.
Freeze branding is allowed in New York for cattle, but is not considered official identification. The Department maintains a brand registry. If you wish to register a brand you can send your design to our office.
We will compare your brand to our registry and will register it if it is unique. Branding is not considered veterinary practice. You may need a veterinarian if tranquilization is necessary.
Please note that although freeze brands are not considered official identification in cattle, they are permanent identification and as such should be recorded on test charts and Certificates of Veterinary Inspection.
Approved Ear Tags
Cattle moving interstate should be permanently identified with a USDA approved ear tag and should move with an interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (also called health papers). Visit the Import & Export section below for more information on moving cattle interstate.
The only USDA approved ear tags for cattle tagged after March 11, 2015 use one of two numbering systems.
- Animal Identification Number (AIN)
These are 15-digit numeric tags with the first three digits indicating the country of origin (‘840’ for the United States, ‘124’ for Canada). There are a number of manufacturers producing all shapes, sizes, and colors of these tags with radio frequency identification device (RFID) microchips within the tag. Learn more.
- National Uniform Ear-tagging System (NUES)
These are the familiar “21” tags. These tags are available to livestock markets and cattle dealers and will be sent upon request to individual producers. The orange tags put in when cattle are vaccinated for Brucellosis by an accredited veterinarian are also approved NUES tags.
Producers can request tags and taggers free of charge using the Ear Tag Order Form below.
Import & Export
The requirements for importing cattle into New York State are:
- A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) issued by an accredited veterinarian in the 30 days immediately preceding entry into New York.
- Each animal must be individually identified with USDA-approved official ear tags. All man-made identification present on each animal must be recorded on the CVI.
- Adherence to testing requirements:
- Cattle imported into New York from outside the United States must comply with USDA testing policies for import into the United States.
- Brucellosis tests are not required for cattle originating from within the United States.
- Tuberculosis testing is required for cattle that have been in Michigan in the last 60 months (5 years):
- Cattle that have been in the counties of Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency, or Oscoda in Michigan must originate in a herd which has undergone a negative whole herd test for tuberculosis within one year prior to movement and the animals to be imported must have a negative individual tuberculosis test in the 60 days preceding movement into New York.
- Animals from accredited free zones in Michigan and that are over six months of age must be negative to a tuberculosis test conducted in the 60 days preceding movement into New York.
There is no permit number required for importation into New York State.
New York City
In addition to New York State import requirements, animals whose destination is within New York City may be subject to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene regulations. Cattle entering New York City for any reason must meet these regulations. Please visit their website or call (646) 364-1783.
Livestock moved into New York State for immediate slaughter must be slaughtered within six days (144 hours). Animals imported for this purpose must be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, completed by a USDA Category 2 accredited veterinarian, or an owner-shipper statement (formerly known as a waybill).
If cattle are moved to a specifically approved stockyard, they shall only be sold to a recognized slaughtering establishment; such cattle shall not be sold, given away, or exchanged except for the authorized agent of the slaughtering establishment.
The USDA has jurisdiction over international movement of animals. Any questions about international movement of animals or animal products should be directed to a USDA office. Contact the New York USDA office.
Animal health requirements for 2023 county fairs and the New York State Fair are posted below.
Programs & Permits
Cattle Health Assurance Program
The New York State Cattle Health Assurance Program (NYSCHAP) is an integrated disease prevention program that utilizes a team of advisors to develop a farm-specific herd health plan. The objectives of this integrated herd plan are to increase the herd's health, productivity and profitability; assure food safety, public health, and consumer confidence in animal agriculture; and promote environmental stewardship. Learn more. The Department coordinates with Cornell University to administer the program.
Food Safety & Drug Residue Avoidance Education Program
The New York State Food Safety & Drug Residue Avoidance Education Program helps farms evaluate their drug use and recordkeeping management. This program is a voluntary, educational, on-farm “best practice” visit with a New York State field veterinarian and preferably the farm’s herd veterinarian. The visit includes:
- a review of drug regulations for food animals;
- a risk assessment of the current farm’s practices;
- a list of priority areas for improvement; and
- discussion of practical strategies and safeguards to improve management and the farm’s recordkeeping system.
The goal of the program is to reduce the chances of drug residues in milk and meat entering into the food supply.
Domestic Animal Health Permits
The Department is concerned with animal disease control and traceability in all animals, including cattle. To provide adequate control of infectious and communicable diseases, permits are issued to those who deal in, handle, and transport domestic animals. Any person who buys or sells cattle is an animal dealer and must have a Domestic Animal Health Permit.
Permitted livestock dealers must comply with Department laws and regulations regarding record books and record keeping; identification; import; and more.