Movement and Identification
Animal Disease Traceability
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is cooperating with USDA on improving the traceability of US livestock moving interstate when animal disease events take place. Currently, all livestock 18 months or older sold at a Kentucky approved livestock market must be identified to the farm of origin.
Under the proposed rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates. The proposed rule encourages the use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal ear tags for cattle. However, recognizing the importance and prevalence of other identifications in certain regions, shipping and receiving states or tribes are permitted to agree upon alternative forms of identification such as brands or tattoos.
FOR ALL EXHIBITORS IN KENTUCKY: Please note that 302 KAR 20:065, Section 2 (3) (c) states that 'Cattle or other bovine species infected with warts, ringworm, or any other communicable disease shall not be eligible for exhibition'.
Animal Import Requirements (coming into Kentucky)
Please refer to the right side of this page for the Import Species block. Choose your species/purpose of entry for simplified requirements for entry into the state of Kentucky. If you are traveling through Kentucky with no planned stops, we will accept your destination state's entry requirements.
How to obtain an Import Permit?
Accredited veterinarians can use either option 1 or 2 for livestock Import Permits.
1. Veterinarians can use the Online Permitting System to obtain an Import Permit.
2. Import Permits can also be obtained by calling the Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office at (502) 782-5901. Be advised that cervid permits may require additional processing time and information.
3. Some exotic animals may also require to have a Kentucky Fish & Wildlife transportation permit. Please contact the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources at (800) 858-1549. Click here for a list of PROHIBITED SPECIES, or be directed to the KDFW website.
Accepted Forms of Official Identification
The following types of Official ID are accepted in Kentucky.
• Animal Identification Number (AIN) tag: 840 prefix or other country code 15-digit tag (this includes EID/RFID button tags, visual non-RFID panel tags, RFID panel tags, matched pair visual/RFID tag set, Industry "Logo" tags [must be 840], Ultra High Frequency (UHF) tags)
• National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES) metal tag: State code prefix, two/three alpha, four digit serial tags (commonly referred to as "Silver" or "Brite" tags) used for program disease testing, interstate movement, change of ownership
• Brucellosis Vaccination metal tag: similar to the NUES tag, but orange to indicate that the animal has been Calfhood vaccinated for Brucellosis
• Scrapie Flock tag: white plastic panel tag with flock ID, or metal serial tag with flock ID, or metal serial tag distributed by our office
• Swine Premises Identification Number (PIN) tag: plastic tag used for slaughter swine
• Other form of identification not mentioned, as long as it is printed with an Official US Shield
• Registration Tattoo, with official breed registry papers (this is an acceptable ID within Kentucky, but the show/exhibition you're attending may not accept this)
• NO LONGER ACCEPTED: 900 & USA prefix series manufacturer tag, unless it was placed on an animal before March 11, 2015
For a detailed list of criteria and options for Official ID that follow the national framework of Animal Disease Traceability, click here.
Intrastate Exhibition Requirements (movement for show within Kentucky)
For animals that are traveling within the state of Kentucky for exhibition, they should have an Official ID listed on a current calendar year Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). If you plan to attend multiple shows throughout the year, a generic destination of 'Kentucky Shows & Fairs' is acceptable for Kentucky origin animals and those CVIs will remain valid until December 31st of the current year, with the exception of Equine (see below). However, CVIs written with a specific destination listed or for a change of ownership are only valid for 30 days and will be void upon arrival at that destination. A CVI written for exhibition purposes shall be void upon change of ownership of the listed animal(s).
Equine CVIs are valid until the Coggins test has expired, or one year from the last test date (i.e. your Coggins test was on March 1st this year and your CVI was written on April 10th this year, your Coggins and CVI will both expire on March 1st next year). However, if your Coggins test was completed after your CVI was written, your CVI will expire one year from the date it was signed by an accredited veterinarian.
Please contact your exhibitor directly for additional requirements. Many shows require testing for your animals, or require a specific form of identification.
If you have questions about movement for other purposes within the Commonwealth, please call our office at (502) 782-5901.
Animal Export Requirements (leaving Kentucky)
Please visit the USDA website to acquire more information about each state's animal transport regulations as well as international animal transport regulations. For interstate animal movement requirements to several states, please visit www.InterstateLivestock.com.
Kentucky Registered Brand Program
While the state of Kentucky does not recognize a brand as an official ID, the Department of Agriculture provides a statewide registry of brands that is published in accordance with state law, KRS Chapter 253. All registered brands with the Department will take precedence over unregistered brands of like where questions of ownership occur. An owner whose brand does not appear in the state registry shall produce evidence to establish his title to the property in the event of disagreement. Brands, under Kentucky law, may now assume personal property status. Agriculture is Kentucky's number one industry. Because livestock is a vital component of Kentucky's agriculture, it is imperative that measures such as branding and animal identification be taken to safeguard against livestock theft, loss or dispute.
To register your brand, please submit a notarized Brand Application along with a ten dollar ($10.00) check or money order payable to the Kentucky State Treasurer. At the time of submittal, your brand is registered with our office for five (5) years. Prior to the brand's expiry, the Department will notify you with the proper renewal forms. To continue your registration for the ensuing five (5) year period, complete and return the renewal paperwork and submit a reregistration fee of five dollars ($5.00).
• Current Brand Registry Book (updated 01/31/2018)