AAEP 1999: Infectious Diseases Subcommittee on Equine Identification


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Presented by Committee Chairman: Timothy R. Cordes, DVM, Dec. 4, 1999

According to Ralph C. Knowles, DVM, Veterinary Consultant, early equine identification in the United States consisted of a word or graphic sketch description of an animal, followed by the hot brand, which was introduced by Spanish settlers. The hot iron brand, or the Preston Brand, was replaced by the lip tattoo in the late 1800s. Though first used by the US Army, tattoos were subsequently used in the identification of horses on the track.

Freeze marking, trycoglyph mapping, chestnut (night eye) mapping, and photographs have been used since the 1950’s to identify horses and other equids.

Blood typing, DNA, Radio Frequency ID (RFID), integrated circuitry (IC) cards, iris, retina, and other biometric determinations have been used in the last 15 years. “Further research and development in this field will ascertain practicality for use in horses and other equids,” wrote Knowles in his historical introduction to Equine ID

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Written by:

Kimberly S. Brown is the editor of EquiManagement/EquiManagement.com and the group publisher of the Equine Health Network at Equine Network LLC.

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