MANHATTAN - As of January 1, 2015, all breeding swine stock will be required by packers and processors to obtain official premises identification number (PIN) tags. According to the National Pork Board, these official PIN tags are being used in an effort to improve pre-harvest traceability and disease prevention. All breeding stock will be required to have the official PIN tags before they enter harvest channels; feeder pigs, growers or market hogs are not required to have the tags.

It is vital that Kansas swine producers have a PIN for each facility in their operation. This number is a standardized unique location identifier generated by the United States Department of Agriculture after the site is registered through the state. If you do not know your existing PIN or need to obtain one, call the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health at (785) 564-6617.

The PIN tags are tamper-evident plastic tags. Each tag will display the PIN in a barcode format, the US shield and a unique identification number. These tags can be ordered with or without production numbers, allowing flexibility.

Swine producers will need to order PIN tags directly from the manufacturer. Destron Fearing, Allflex USA, Inc. and Y-Tex Corporation are three manufacturers approved to print tags. When ordering these tags, producers must provide their PIN for the breeding farm. To order tags, visit: http://www.pork.org/programs-and-events/swine-id/pin-tag/approved-pin-tag-suppliers/.

The National Pork Board has created several resources for this swine-industry driven initiative. For more information please visit: http://www.pork.org/programs-and-events/swine-id/pin-tag/. Frequently asked questions regarding the 2015 Official PIN Tag Requirement can be found at: http://www.pork.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/pin_faqs-final-2014.pdf .