International animal identification letter
The international animal identification letter codes—which represent the year of birth—are recommended by all the major breed associations to help with individual animal identification. Within this identification system, each calendar year is assigned a standard letter code. Every 22 years the lettering system will repeat itself. Typically, producers find it beneficial to use the letter code in conjunction with an identification number for both visual and tattoo purposes. How and even if the letter is used depends upon a producer’s personal preference for animal identification. However, an example of a common identification system used by many seedstock operations has the number corresponding with the order of a calf’s birth followed by the year letter code, e.g. 101H would be an operation’s 101st calf born in 2020. Overall, the goal for the identification system that uses the letter codes is to have each animal on a farm or ranch uniquely identified within a birth year. The Letters I, O, Q and V are not used to avoid confusion with numbers and letter 1, 0, and U.
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