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Tattooing an Animal

Tattoo Letters
To register Angus cattle in Canada, you must apply for and secure the right to use a set of unique tattoo letters. Tattoo letters need only be applied for once and stay with the member as long as (s)he is an active member of the Association. If tattoo letters have not been used for seven years they may be reassigned. 

Herd Name
Herd names are required and are used as a prefix when naming registered cattle to identify the owner at birth. Your herd name does not have to be the same as your membership name and can be shared among family members with permission.

Check the Ear Tattoo of Each Animal You Buy
The Canadian Angus Association by-laws state that the tattoo must be in the right ear. When you purchase animals, check the right ear tattoo and make sure it matches the registration certificate. Contact us immediately if the ear tattoo and registration certificate do not match.

The letters I, O, Q, and V may not be used as a year letter. After Z, the next year’s letter shall revert back to A.

How to Tattoo
Proper identification at birth is essential to maintain accurate herd records. The Association requires every animal to be permanently identified in order to be eligible for registration.

Canadian Angus animals have two rows of tattoos in the right ear. The top row will have the breeder’s registered tattoo letters, and the bottom row will contain a 1, 2, 3 or 4-digit number followed by the year letter that corresponds to the year that animal was born.

Step-by-step procedures on how to properly tattoo an Angus animal according to the official regulations of the Canadian Angus Association:


Year and Corresponding Letter


The letters I, O, Q and V may not be used as a year letter. After Z, the next year’s letter shall revert back to A.

An example of a tattoo on a Canadian Angus animal