APHIS only providing free metal scrapie tags
USDA press release
To support animal disease traceability and scrapie eradication efforts, the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has provided both metal and plastic ear tags and applicators to sheep and goat producers at no cost since fiscal year 2002.
After a funding reduction in FY 2012, APHIS used specific, no-year funding (for scrapie and ADT) to continue purchasing the tags and distributing them free of cost to producers. These no-year funds were exhausted in fiscal year 2017. APHIS is providing only metal tags free of charge to producers and others who handle sheep and goats. Plastic tags and applicators for metal and plastic tags will remain available for purchase directly from approved tag manufacturers.
These changes will reduce APHIS tag and applicator costs while still providing sheep and goat producers with a free identification device. APHIS will provide a limited number of plastic tags to producers newly enrolled in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program who submit tissues for scrapie surveillance to encourage on-farm scrapie surveillance.
The agency will continue to work closely in partnership with states and industry to achieve scrapie eradication. For more information on how to purchase tags and applicators, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/scrapie-tags.