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It has mixed blessings.

You are going down a country road at night, round a curve and run smack dab into a 1,000 pound solid black steer. No brand or eartags on the critter. All of the people in the area say, "Not my animal". With the eartag system it could quickly be determined who's it was for insurance/liability purposes.

You come home from work, go out to feed your cattle and find them missing. Quick investigation work reveals fresh tire tracks at your loading chute. Likely those cattle may be in a different state heading towards a 'no-questions asked' livestock auction. You alert the proper authorities who send out an alert to all of the livestock markets. Authorities are notified when your cattle come through the identification process.

If you are trying for carcass improvement, it may be possible to go on-line to see how they eventually did at the slaughter house as to grade and yield - even if they had been through a couple of owners between.

Hoof and mouth shows up at a livestock auction in Podunk City. Within hours authorities have traced the movement of it back to the point of last origin in order to start isolation and eradication procedures immediately.

Ken S. in WC TN
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