Dairy Animal Identification

Unique identification for each female and male dairy animal is essential for accurate genetic evaluation. The U.S. follows the guidelines by the International Committee of Animal Recording (ICAR). The official U.S. authority for federal regulations on animal recording is the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at USDA

Photo by Andrea Haines

Official Animal Identification

Domestically, the U.S. uses a 17-digit unique ID for female and male dairy animals which consists of a 2-digit breed code, 3-digit country code and 12-digit number. For international trade, the U.S. follows guidelines set by ICAR and Interbull. International IDs overlap largely with domestic IDs but have 19 digits and consist of a 3-digit breed code, 3-digit country code, 1-digit gender code and a 12-digit number.

NAAB Uniform Codes

For traceability, bulls for artificial insemination in the U.S. receive a unique code that is printed on semen straws and used for recording and marketing. This NAAB Uniform code consists of 10 digits.

Country and Breed Codes

Photo Courtesy of PEAK

The breed code and country code are critical for accurate animal identification and data flow.

The U.S. has two official country codes: 840 and USA. Both codes indicate the U.S. as country of origin; however the codes are not interchangeable.

Link below for official lists of breed and country codes. There can be differences, based on source of the ID and depending on use for international trade or domestic (U.S.).