Resolution Responses

23-08-Ear tag retention

BFO strongly believes tag retention is an integral part of the traceability system and the need to find solutions to concerns about lost tags, missing backs and tag retention. While attending the Canadian Beef Industry Conference (CBIC) in Calgary last month, the BFO directors and staff in attendance had the opportunity to tour the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) head office, meet with their staff and bring forward your concerns.

This issue has long been a focus of the CCIA and they have collaborated on a number of research projects to better understand common issues regarding tag retention.  CCIA has been working directly with manufacturers to improve tags for greater retention.

One of the items staff from CCIA presented on during the tour was regarding ear tag retention, advancements that have been made by tag manufacturers to current tags on the market and their upcoming campaign set to launch early next year. Throughout 2024, the CCIA will be promoting a national education campaign focused on promoting best practices amongst livestock producers and industry stakeholders, elevating trust in the traceability program, with the goal of improving tag retention.

The “Retention Matters” campaign will run January through December 2024, inclusive, and will feature content based on five key tenets of retention – tag design, tag quality, environment, tag application, and myths and misconceptions.

This campaign, unanimously supported by the CCIA’s Board of industry members, will be one of the largest run by the Agency, with all the supporting content curated in one dedicated website – (to be launched early 2024). Across the year, content will be delivered through a mix of visual and interactive educational tools, national print and social media campaigns, and demonstrations at trade events. BFO will be sure to make members aware of content delivered throughout the campaign via our Ontario Beef magazine and weekly Bull-etin Board.

Additional support and awareness will be provided through the CCIA’s Client Support Team, and every single pack of tags distributed by the CCIA, both to dealers and direct to producers, will include additional information on retention. The CCIA is confident that the “Retention Matters” campaign will strike a positive chord, and is looking forward to positive engagement from industry on this timely issue.

CCIA continues to work with tag manufacturers to improve the quality and longevity of the plastics used in currently approved indicators.  In addition, BFO continues to push, along with many of our cattle association partners, on the introduction of Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) RFID tags to improve readability and reduce management costs.

In the meantime, if you wish to provide comments on the performance (i.e., readability and retention) of approved indicators, please complete and submit the Approved Tag/Animal Indicator Quality Control Form to the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency by email, mail or fax which can be found at

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