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Animal Identification: Benefits and Concerns Essay

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Updated: Jun 26th, 2020

Animal identification is routine practise done on any livestock which entails giving the animals a unique identification number or mark to distinguish it from the rest. This identification mark is usually given to an individual animal but in some instances, a whole flock or herd is allocated a single identification mark. The National Animal Identification System is the main body that is responsible for animal identification in the United States.

Not only is animal identification exercised in the US, it is a global affair hence carried out also in the other parts of the world because of its importance. Animal identification is a requirement to all livestock keepers despite the size of their flock. There are many reasons as to why animal identification is carried out with the main reason being that of being able to identify any animals that have contracted disease within the shortest time possible. Other reasons include ease in traceability in case animals mingle with others, tracking the animals during slaughter among other reasons.

Animal identification may be mandatory or voluntary depending on different countries. Nevertheless, countries that follow the National Animal Identification system tend to have a larger market for their exports of animal products. The main reason is because the public will have the notion that these animals have had a good tracking arrangement in their life time.

The public trust that animals with identification marks are free from disease or infections since the National Animal Identification System is responsible for identifying sick animals as they occur and restricting them hence avoiding transmission to the rest of the flock or herd. This therefore creates assuredness to the public in the kind of products they are getting in the market. As a result such a country or ranch incurs high profits as compared to those without animal identification programs.

Not only is animal identification important to the public, it is also of great help to the producers themselves. With animal identification programs, the producers will be able to trace back their flock in case of disappearance. They will also have the benefit of getting their animals treated immediately they contract any infections hence avoiding mass losses through death. Since animals have been distinguished and movement is restricted, there will also be reduced risk of cross-contamination from one ranch to the other. Another benefit of animal identification to the producer is that of being able to keep distinct production and health records of each animal.

Animal identification has its shortcomings to the producer as well as to the general public. The process of installing identification is costly financially. This cost therefore puts the small scale farmers off as they may not be able to afford the registration process. Due to this there is the risk of animals from such farmers contracting a disease and transmitting it to the others due to lack of prompt action.

The cost incurred in animal identification trickles down to the consumers or general public hence inflating the final price of the animals or their products. The putting of identification marks on animals is also a problem in the hides and skins industry. This is because the marks reduce the quality of skin or hide hence fetching low costs in the market. Some of the identification marks go further to impact the meat quality of the animal if the mark is deep.

It can therefore be concluded that animal identification has its benefits as well as concerns. It is upon the affected parties to decide on what cause to take regarding animal identification.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 26). Animal Identification: Benefits and Concerns. https://ivypanda.com/essays/animal-identification-benefits-and-concerns/

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IvyPanda. "Animal Identification: Benefits and Concerns." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/animal-identification-benefits-and-concerns/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Animal Identification: Benefits and Concerns." June 26, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/animal-identification-benefits-and-concerns/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Animal Identification: Benefits and Concerns'. 26 June.

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