Canadian Bison Identification and Traceability

The bison identification program is an industry program initiated and established trace back system for the control and eradication of disease. The bison traceability system is operated in conjunction with the Canadian Cattle Identification (CCIA) system.


All bison leaving their herd of origin must be tagged with the approved Radio Frequency Identification (RFID). Bison RFID tags are part of a number sequence allocated to bison and are white in colour. It is illegal to use yellow coloured RFID tags.


Bison tags can only be purchased from the Canadian Bison Association. Upon ordering tags they are shipped directly to the producer by Kane Veterinary Supplies in Edmonton, AB.



Effective April 1, 2014 the RFID tag will be the only legal tag for bison.

Do producers need to remove dangle tags from the animal before applying the RFID tags?

No the RFID tags can be applied without removing the dangle tag.

For more answers to frequently asked RFID questions go HERE

Approved Bison Tags List HERE
Étiquettes approuvées pour les bisons ici

List of Revoked Bison Tags HERE
Liste des étiquettes révoquées pour le secteur bison ici


To order tags, click here for an English-Bison Identification Tag Order Form.

To order tags, click here for a French-Bison Identification Tag Order Form.


Now available through the Canadian Bison Association: RFID(EID) tag readers click here

Maximizing the benefits of RFID technology click here

Important Guidelines for Producers

  • All bison must be tagged with the approved tag before leaving their herd of origin (unless going to an approved tagging site).
  • The bison RFID tags are white in colour – yellow RFID tags are illegal for bison
  • The tags should be applied according to the manufacturer's instructions (see pictures below)

    RFID Bison Tag Placement.    RFID Tag Placement
  • Bison Identification tags should never be reused.
  • Records of the ID number of re-tagged animals (i.e.. bison who have lost tags) should be kept along with any known information of where they came from.
  • Bison tags may be removed from an animal that is dead because of slaughter or being processed by a renderer.
  • Every person who exports an animal shall ensure that the number of the animal’s approved tag is reported to the administrator (CCIA), along with the number of any tag applied to the animal in place of the approved tag, within 30 days after exportation. Click here for CFIA Export Requirements, etc.
  • Improper bison identification can result in unnecessary monetary penalties.

Bison Identification Questions & Answers

Click HERE to view the most frequently asked questions and answers on RFID tags.


Bison traceability


The bison industry has been a strong supporter of animal / product tracing and trace back.
There are three pillars or areas of traceability.

  1. Animal identification
  2. Premises identification
  3. Recording of all animal movement.


The bison industry through official bison tags is well on it way to fulfill the first pillar.  Now the focus is on providing information to producers on premises identification and animal movement. 


The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is the official administrator for cattle, bison and sheep. The CCIA database is where all events associated with traceability are recorded. Below is the link to the CCIA website:


Premises Identification

Premises identification is the assignment of a randomly generated, unique identification number to a physical land location referred to as a premises location allocator identification number or premises identification number (PLA ID or PID).

Premises identification is regulated provincially. Click here for contact information of applicable provincial departments for premise registration. Once you have a provincial PID number it may be added to the account you have established with CCIA.

animal movement

Recording animal movement is the reporting on the CCIA data base of any movement of animals in or out of your inventory (CCIA ID profile).


You will always be recognized as the herd of origin for animals born on your premises; however each movement of animals for whatever reason should be documented. This would allow fast and accurate tracking for a faster response to assist producers if an animal health or food safety issue should ever arise.


Here is the link to the CLTS resource centre website to assist you with this documentation  movement events allows producers to have documentation of time line in the event of a disease occurrence.