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Approved Swine Identifier

Approved Swine Identifiers

There are two numbers that are associated with swine identification in Alberta.

  • Herd mark: a herd mark is a 5-digit number that in Alberta, always ends in 6. When applied, this number identifies swine from a specific premises. The herd mark can be present on an ear tag or as a tattoo. This number is assigned once the producer registers with Alberta Pork. It is important to note that this number cannot be self assigned.
  • Individual identifiers (ID): is a unique 15-digit number that when assigned, individually identifies the animal and marks it as Canadian. The first six digits indicate it is Canadian swine (124 000 XXX XXX XXX). The last nine digits create the unique swine number. (124 000 499 999 999) The individual identifier is found on an ear tag only. This number is assigned when an order is placed and created through PigTrace.

Additional Management Printing (Optional)

Internal herd management printing (Optional)

  • Producers do have the option of having their own herd management number printed on the bottom portion of the tag. Be sure to discuss this when placing your PigTrace tag order.

Ordering Ear Tags

Producers can order PigTrace tags by phoning Alberta Pork toll free at 1.877.247.7675 (PORK).

It is important to note that if you are placing an order for PigTrace tags, please allow up to six weeks for the order to be delivered. Tag orders will not go through to printing until a payment has been applied. Payment can be made by credit card over the phone (to Alberta Pork) or by cheque. The cheque will have to be made out to Canadian Pork Council and sent to the following address:

Canadian Pork Council, 28 Terracon Place
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2J 4G7

NOTE: Please be sure to include the order number in the memo portion of the cheque.

In the event of a producer/regulated party needing tags immediately, Alberta Pork, along with PigTrace, carries an emergency inventory of the Individual ID tags.

Individual identifiers
These numbers are assigned through the PigTrace program at the time of ear tag ordering/printing.

NOTE: On the large size ear tag there is space for a management number to be applied at the time of tag printing.
NOTE: Small pig ear tags are approved to be utilized in pigs that are smaller than market weight (115 kg)

Large Ear Tag (21/4” x 11/2” to scale)

  • Sows/boars moving to a farm premises
  • Large pigs going to Fairs/Auctions
  • Exported breeding pigs
  • Imported pigs
  • Pigs going to slaughter

Small Ear Tag (11/2” x 11/2” to scale)

  • Small pigs going to fairs
  • Export outside of Canada









Herd mark

Herd marks (tattoo numbers) are assigned by Alberta Pork upon registration with them. The herd mark is associated to specific premises, as well as to the Alberta Pork Producer Number.

Large ear tag

  • Swine going to slaughter

Shoulder slap tattoo

  • Swine going to slaughter

Small ear tag or ear tattoo (U.S. requirement)

  • Exported piglets and feeder pigs


Missing Approved Swine Identifiers

Missing identifier or lost tags
For swine that do not bear an approved swine identifier, the Receiver must apply an approved swine identifier to the swine before the swine are commingled with other swine in a location or facility.

The Receiver records the applied swine identifier on the Swine Manifest.

Illegal tag application
It is illegal to identify swine with tags approved for other species and vice-versa.

NOTE: Only PigTrace tags are considered approved for swine.

Swine Identifiers: Tag Options