Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by Redgully » Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:44 am

Wouldn't work because what ear do you make it tear to, a young animals ear will tear easy and an old cow will not. Don't want a flick of a tail to be ripping them out. I would leave it as is, seems to be working ok and nothing is going to be perfect. I reckon they have a good balance between being user friendly and reliability. I have heard microchips mentioned, not sure where you'd put on a meat animal! But that would be a nightmare to apply even though it would 99.9% reliable, you lose that balance.



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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by alisonb » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:08 am

Read this the other day...something else to watch out for :roll:

Bleeding Emergencies in Cattle
Dr. Colleen Lewis / January 5, 2017

Many years ago, I received a phone call to examine a Holstein steer as he lay with his head curled back in a sleeping position, unfortunately, dead. As I began my case investigation, I gathered a history and started through the hide to expose the underlying tissues and the muscles beneath. The tissues were extremely pale; the steer had bled out. But what he didn’t have, was evidence of a major, life threatening bleed. Where had all of his blood gone? The only external wound the steer had was on his ear. Evidently, he had caught his ear tag on something and it had accidently tore out, creating a swallow fork. The injury at first glance was minor as the raw edges had produced a little puddle of blood beneath his head before he passed. Gathering more information, the owner proceeded to tell me that the tag was purported missing about four days ago. The bleeding was small but steady, at a rate of roughly one to two drops per second. On further examination, we were finding similar puddles of blood around his loafing area. Over the course of four days, the blood loss was enough to prove fatal. Be aware that even a slow blood loss over a series of days can add up to be very serious. At least it was for one fat steer. Most bleeding injuries are a lot more noticeable.
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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by Redgully » Sat Jan 25, 2020 5:00 am

Very odd, there must have been some condition causing it not to clot, even if the others were licking it there still would have been clotting. Could have a snake bitten it?

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by greggy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:18 am

All the torn ears I have are well and truly healed.....and I am very close to them each day.....

I doubt it would be an issue if buying untagged...or born on farm....it is the very young calves who have the issue......

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by greggy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:20 am

Redgully wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:44 am
Wouldn't work because what ear do you make it tear to, a young animals ear will tear easy and an old cow will not. Don't want a flick of a tail to be ripping them out. I would leave it as is, seems to be working ok and nothing is going to be perfect. I reckon they have a good balance between being user friendly and reliability. I have heard microchips mentioned, not sure where you'd put on a meat animal! But that would be a nightmare to apply even though it would 99.9% reliable, you lose that balance.
Prob is, legislation requires few day olds to have a tag if moved or sold....if it was only yearlings or left to discretion
......not an issue

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:38 am

Greggy - someone already mentioned, but you might not have caught the gist of what they said.
PermaFlex eartags have a button they call Daisy buttons. They are shaped like a flower with pedals. Very soft, designed not to be snagged.
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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:46 am

I have put Allflex or Permaflex Extra Large eartags in my newborns day they were born for nearly 50 years. I have a calf this year and may have had a total of ?? 2 others that have torn out their eartag as a calf. Cows ?? maybe two in the course of these 50 years. I only run around 50 momma cows, but I do not have a cow in the herd with a torn ear.
You might look at management - do you have strings hanging that can snag them? My cows are allowed in the woods/hedgerows all the time. They rub on EVERYTHING available.
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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by greggy » Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:55 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:38 am
Greggy - someone already mentioned, but you might not have caught the gist of what they said.
PermaFlex eartags have a button they call Daisy buttons. They are shaped like a flower with pedals. Very soft, designed not to be snagged.
Yes, saw it.

Can you believe that we have to use a certain button....it has ......do not remove.....written on it.......you can guess how well that works for people who do not care......sigh.

When someone breaks the law here....our politicians make more laws, the fact that criminals do not care about any law seems to escape them.

For our own tags, we can do anything, so was good info.

Re management, 1 was done on a fence, second maybe the same or when calves playing with each other, others no idea as tags found in random spots. But, I will concede they are in a small area, and all smaller calves, none with mum, and none that have been 300lb plus have ripped one out.

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by regolith » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:33 am

It's illegal to remove them but you can be sure any one in their right mind is going to cut them out if the ear is swelled up with infection...

I tagged my whole herd a year or so before the law was brought in because I was changing out the management tags anyway - blood everywhere, cows going crazy, taggers were repeatedly flicking the tags away as soon as they touched the ear (sometimes scratching them in the process... that's where the blood was coming from) the EID taggers are *not* designed for tagging adult animals. They work okay on nice soft baby calf ears.
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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by Redgully » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:12 am

greggy wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 4:55 pm
Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:38 am
Greggy - someone already mentioned, but you might not have caught the gist of what they said.
PermaFlex eartags have a button they call Daisy buttons. They are shaped like a flower with pedals. Very soft, designed not to be snagged.
Yes, saw it.

Can you believe that we have to use a certain button....it has ......do not remove.....written on it.......you can guess how well that works for people who do not care......sigh.

When someone breaks the law here....our politicians make more laws, the fact that criminals do not care about any law seems to escape them.
This was equally an industry push and continues to be to protect our industry. We are on the front foot with disease control and these tags give us traceability which has cleaned up a lot of dodgy producers. It is not a perfect system but if you can think of something better I'd like to hear it.

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by greggy » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:30 am

Registered brandings perhaps ? Cant fall off, cant have dodgy the dodger cut and replace tags in 10 seconds.....

It is not bad, only when it becomes law, cause then only the lawless are free....so do not get me wrong, it is a move that in principle, and maybe even a lot of practice, is a good thing. It is legislating stuff that irks me.

Think of if I graze a few hrs 3 times each day next door, and the owners cant be bothered being registered, or maybe they are, so I am a law breaker if I do this....and am I really going to make multiple records daily of hundreds of different animals. Like there is nothing else to do.

Point being, some things are great in theory if you sit in an office on the public teat....this system does not stop mr dodgy, not one bit, I could shoot holes through this everywhere...

What it is good for, is greasing the wheels for a few companies, the govt, yards and agents or interested parties.

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by greggy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:36 am

regolith wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:33 am
It's illegal to remove them but you can be sure any one in their right mind is going to cut them out if the ear is swelled up with infection...

I tagged my whole herd a year or so before the law was brought in because I was changing out the management tags anyway - blood everywhere, cows going crazy, taggers were repeatedly flicking the tags away as soon as they touched the ear (sometimes scratching them in the process... that's where the blood was coming from) the EID taggers are *not* designed for tagging adult animals. They work okay on nice soft baby calf ears.
Missed your post.

Yeah, that is also sort of what I was getting at, impractical rigid systems mean a lot of people just do whatever, I think medical would be a legit removal, but, I am not sure, and I am not going to know the legislation inside out, anyways.....I can see this would be what most would do.

So, prob better to get them in young, maybe even a button on unused ear, so you have a healed ear with a hole ready to be used later. You really would need a head bale with chin bar & be quick if a wild or barely contacted animal....but if you let go of applicator, the ear should not get damaged ?

Any opinion on what tag to use, I imagine you have the same 2 and a few other options like us ?

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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by regolith » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:45 am

I only have allflex taggers, so that it what I use. We also have Leader and Zeetag brands available.

The spring on my brand-new green taggers was pretty loose which was why it wouldn't go through the tougher adult ears, it's designed for the pin to flip out and release the tag once the tag is through, it was springing back under pressure when the tag had already scratched or got half through the ear. I had to finish the job with a borrowed green taggers. We have to tag them young anyway by law but really the best option is a few days old, in full daylight and with the calf's head firmly controlled - seriously calving time is busy enough if you're rushing and doing it in the half-dark with the calf just lying resting there's a good chance of hitting the vein and making the ear flop or predisposing an infection. If I let a calf out to the paddock with a cow and try to catch him six weeks later to tag... might find I simply don't have the strength to hang on to him I've resorted to tagging those ones when the entire group is dehorned, our vets preference is to sedate to dehorn.
You need a head bail. If I have to replace a tag on a dairy animal I do it in the milking shed, have done bulls that way as well you really need luck on your side and a placid calm animal to get it done with the head unrestrained. The law came in with an 'impractical to tag' provision but they keep making the law tighter, apparently now you need official certification that a particular animal is too dangerous to tag and they can only leave the farm direct to slaughter (what actually happens is a lot more realistic but being sensible is going to end up with people being prosecuted and fined the way things are going).


The whole registration thing is still a nightmare six - eight years after it became law, I'm not finding it possible to meet the requirements perhaps because of my poor internet connection, perhaps because of technological problems on the part of government/tag supplier/information provider. The tags I'm using don't have the EID number written on them so the *only* way (unless you own a scanner) to get that number registered to that animal is to obtain a computer file from the tag supplier and upload it, for the last three consecutive years I've had problems obtaining and uploading that file in a timely manner. This year the files I obtained were blank, after several failed attempts to put the information into the system I had to contact the people I'd bought the tags through and get them to track down working files related to that tag purchase.
I don't know how they can expect the system to work when rural NZ still doesn't have realistic internet speeds and the average farmer is over 60 and often has minimal computer skills to start with. Phoning in information used to be an option but last I heard it's almost impossible to get through in the phone and can take weeks for a response if you ask for a callback.
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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by regolith » Tue Jan 28, 2020 5:58 am

I don't think the law makers/law enforcers have any real idea of the animal welfare implications of what they are doing.
For example, full tail docking was banned back in '06 with the *only* exception that the tail could be removed... by a vet... if it was injured.
In reality if I have a cow with a snapped tail bleeding out I put a rubber ring on as soon as I see it, I don't leave her bleeding while I make a phone call to the vet, I've seen snapped tails some 3 - 4 times over 25 years, it's getting to the point where if you have a docked cow for any reason you're going to have to hide her completely... I have one in the calf mob this year, was like that when I first saw her at a few hours old I think momma got a bit too enthusiastic about licking her clean. It really doesn't help when you've got respected vets insisting that tails never get injured in any way other by humans.
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Re: Aus - Allflex or Leader tags and animal welfare

Post by mailm » Mon May 25, 2020 6:31 pm

regolith wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:58 am
I'm using allflex NAIT tags... can lose up to 10% annually several with ears ripped. NZ government claims they don't come out and aren't interested in animal welfare. At least, I conclude that they aren't interested in animal welfare on the evidence that they insist on every calf being tagged full-time with these things even though farmers keep telling them they're shredding ears.
Two calves out of thirty born this spring have ripped ears, I know for a fact one did it on a bit of string hanging on a gate, because that's where I found the tag.

edit to add: my whole herd had tags scanned at TB testing nearly a year ago... that's a thing now. Just 5 tags found missing, ears not ripped but I think four of those cows would have been born 2009 - 2011. Which strongly suggests to me that those things have a half-life of not more than nine years. Previous time the herd was scanned was just two years after they were all first tagged, and we put in 10% new RFID tags as the originals had been lost.
It's very sad to read this and realize that the government is not interested in protecting animals. I've been wondering why so little attention and resources are attached to animal rights. I would like to see positive dynamics in the development of this, regardless of what kind of animal it is, what size and colour. I recently studied this issue and found a lot of information about animal rights on this source https://studydriver.com/animal-rights-essay/ Personally, I used to be very neutral about this, and just now I began to think about this issue.

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