Defective ear tags are threatening the health of Utah cattle herds

Apr 27, 2023, 7:49 AM | Updated: 10:22 am

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — Several veterinarians and ranchers across the state are dealing with an unusual problem, missing ear tags from bulls.

They’re called trich tags, and they help identify which animals have been tested for a dangerous venereal disease. The tags work like earrings with a front tag and a back button to hold the tag. If the button is lost, it will cause problems.

Calvin Crandall’s family has raised cattle in Springville for four generations. All of his bulls wear the colored tags to show they’ve been tested for trich.

“Trichomoniasis. It’s a sexually transmitted disease in cattle,” Crandall explained.

Dr. Amanda Price, the state’s interim veterinarian, says three herds have tested positive in Utah this year.

“It can reduce the number of calves that people get, so it’s a really serious disease if a herd gets it,” Price said.

A certified vet tests Crandall’s bulls annually.

“Now this one has lost his,” Crandall said as he pointed at a bull. “We went with a different manufacturer this year than we have in the past, and unfortunately, we’re having some issues with the buttons that go on the back of tags.”

The buttons are breaking or not functioning as they should.

“It’s not uncommon to lose a tag,” Crandall explained. “It is very uncommon to have a tag that’s only been installed for 30 days, and it’s falling out.”

But luckily, there is a backup.

Price said, “We’re also allowing veterinarians to put new tags in.”

It’s a chore for cattlemen like Crandall. The bulls also have smaller, radiofrequency i-d tags in their opposite ear.

“We’re giving people the benefit of the doubt this year in looking into each case that’s reported to us,” Price said.

A missing tag and a missing trich test come at a cost. Price said it’s a possible citation of $1,000 per bull.

No one wants to compromise the health of Utah’s cattle.

Crandall said, “We’re trying to eradicate it, and we’re making good inroads by trich testing the bulls.”

The state has ordered higher-quality tags. Meanwhile, the main goal is to stop the spread of the disease.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Utah County

Students at Payson High School are kicking off a massive year-long campaign to get "Footloose" star...

Lindsay Aerts

#BACONTOPAYSON: Payson High students pushing to get Kevin Bacon to prom

Students at Payson High really want actor Kevin Bacon to come to prom in 2024. After all, much of "Footloose" was filmed at the school.

8 days ago

a byu basketball game is pictured, byutv is changing due to an espn deal...

Allessandra Harris

The streaming shift from BYUtv to ESPN

BYU is moving to the Big 12 Conference this year, bringing a new partnership between ESPN and BYUtv.

9 days ago

Spanish Fork Police report that, on Monday, a 2-year-old child was hit in the head by a small calib...

Aimee Cobabe and Simone Seikaly

Owner says Spanish Fork daycare is safe after toddler hit by bullet

Spanish Fork police said several kids were playing outside in a fenced area when an adult staff member saw one of the children fall.

11 days ago

According to the Utah County Sheriff's Office, Dorothy Durant, operator of the Lehi Farmer's Market...

Lindsay Aerts

Lehi Farmer’s Market owner facing a dozen zoning violations

Of particular concern for officials is how and where sewage from RVs parked at Lehi Farmer's Market is being disposed.

11 days ago

Spanish Fork small plane crash...

Devin Oldroyd

Small plane crashes into Spanish Fork Airport hangar, no injuries

A small plane crashed into a hangar at the Spanish Fork Airport Sunday afternoon. Both occupants of the plane were uninjured.

13 days ago

A stunning view of Utah County from Traverse Mountain in Lehi, Utah, on March 21st. (KSLTV viewer s...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Census data: What was Utah’s fastest growing city in 2022?

Lehi, with an estimated population percentage growth of 5.6%, was the 14th fastest-growing large city in the nation between July 2021 and July 2022.

15 days ago

Sponsored Articles

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Group of cheerful team members high fiving each other...

Visit Bear Lake

How To Plan a Business Retreat in Bear Lake This Spring

Are you wondering how to plan a business retreat this spring? Read our sample itinerary to plan a team getaway to Bear Lake.

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...

BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.

Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a New Winter Activity? Try Skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...

Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.

Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.

Defective ear tags are threatening the health of Utah cattle herds