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Cattle and Bison Entry Requirements

Entry Requirements

The following is a summary of Indiana's animal health laws governing the transportation of cattle and bison into Indiana. Indiana's cattle and bison identification, movement, and testing laws can be viewed in more detail in 345 IAC 1-2, 345 IAC 1-3-7.5, and 345 IAC 2. For additional information, contact the Indiana State Board of Animal Health Cattle & Ruminant Division at (317)544-2397 or toll free at (877)747-3038, or click here to submit an e-mail inquiry.


If the animal is to be entered in a livestock exhibition in Indiana, see also the Indiana exhibition requirements. Exhibition Requirements.


Official identification is REQUIRED for:

  • All ages and breeds used for rodeos, shows, exhibitions, or recreational events
  • All sexually intact and 18 months of age or older
  • All dairy breed females (including crosses), regardless of age
  • All dairy breed bulls and steers born after March 11, 2013 (including crosses and veal calves)


  • Animals moving directly to slaughter, or directly to a licensed market for resale as direct to slaughter
  • Animals moving directly to a licensed market, where the animal will receive official identification

Three forms of official identification are recognized by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health.  All are approved by USDA for interstate movement.

  • 840 tags
    • May or may not be an RFID (radio frequency device)
    • 15 digits, beginning with "840," with US shield
  • NUES (brite) tags
    • National Uniform Ear Tagging System
    • Steel or plastic options available, must include US shield
  • Official USDA Program tags
    • Such as orange calfhood vaccination tags

NOTE: USDA backtags are considered official within slaughter channels only.

NOTE: Cattle breed registry tattoos are not recognized as official ID.

For additional information on official ID go to:


Records of all animal movements, including purchases, sales, leases and barter agreements must be kept for 5 years. Records must include: name and address of buyer and seller, sale date, animal ID's, breed, sex and reason for movement.

Certificate of Veterinary Inspection
A CVI is required for entry into Indiana for all cattle and bison, both domestic and wild, with the following exceptions:

  • Animals traveling directly to slaughter, or directly to a licensed market for resale as direct to slaughter
  • Animals traveling directly to a licensed market that do not leave Indiana
  • Animals traveling to a facility for veterinary treatment that will return to the state-of-origin
  • Animals traveling through the state without being unloaded

The CVI must be issued by a licensed and accredited veterinarian within the 30 days immediately prior to the animal entering Indiana. With the exception of dairy steers, if an animal is required to have official ID, then the official ID number must be recorded on the CVI.

Pre-Entry Permit
A pre-entry permit is required for all animals that require a paper certificate of veterinary inspection. A pre-entry permit is not required for cattle when the CVI is submitted to BOAH electronically prior to movement. A permit must be obtained prior to transporting such animals into Indiana. Permits for cattle and bison may be obtained at any time at: or Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Eastern), with the exception of state holidays, by calling (317) 544-2400, or toll free at (877)747-3038


No animal that has tested positive for tuberculosis, brucellosis, or any other infectious or contagious disease excluded by the State Veterinarian may enter Indiana. No animal that originates from a herd that is quarantined for tuberculosis, brucellosis, or other disease concerns may enter Indiana.

The owner of the animal(s) is responsible for completing any required testing before the animal(s) enter Indiana.


All "test eligible cattle" must have a negative brucellosis test within the 30 days immediately prior to entering Indiana, UNLESS:

(1) Cattle originate from a state designated brucellosis-free by the USDA; or
(2) Cattle originate from a certified brucellosis-free herd; or
(3) Cattle are steers or spayed heifers.

"Test eligible cattle" means the following:

(A) Cattle that are not official vaccinates and that are at least 18 months of age.
(B) Official calfhood vaccinates at least 18 months of age that are parturient or post parturient.
(C) Official calfhood vaccinates of beef breeds or bison at least 24 months of age.
(D) Official calfhood vaccinates of dairy breeds at least 20 months of age.

USDA Class A and Class B brucellosis states or zones:

All dairy and breeding cattle/bison must meet the following additional requirements:

No entry test: If cattle originate from a certified brucellosis-free herd if the CVI indicates the certified herd number and date of the last herd test. (Last herd test must have been within the 12 months immediately prior to entering Indiana.)

Individual test: All other dairy and breeding cattle/bison must test negative for brucellosis within the 30 days immediately prior to entering Indiana and must be quarantined at the point of destination, then retested between 45 days and 90 days after entry.


  • TB-Free States and Zones
    Cattle or bison may move with no restrictions.
  • Modified Accredited Advanced States or Zones
    Cattle and bison 18 months of age and older must test negative for tuberculosis within 60 days prior to entering Indiana.  Animals do not need to be retested if they tested negative for tuberculosis as part of a herd tuberculosis test at their herd of origin within 6 months prior to their movement into Indiana.
  • Modified Accredited States or Zones
    (TB-infected zone in Michigan.)
    • Steers and spayed heifers 2 months of age and older must test negative within 60 days prior to entering Indiana.
    • All sexually intact animals must originate from herds that test negative for TB within one year prior to the date of movement into Indiana, and individually test negative within 60 days prior to entering, if the animal is 2 months of age or older.
  • Exceptions to TB Testing Requirements
    (all sexes, breeds, and states or zones)
    • Animals moving directly to slaughter or to slaughter through only one approved livestock facility.
    • Animals originating from an accredited herd (NOTE: accredited herd number must be provided).
    • Animals moved in accordance with a BOAH-approved commuter herd agreement.

MEXICO: Special requirements for cattle originating from Mexico.

Exhibition: Animals moving into and out of Indiana within 10 days must follow the import testing requirements listed above for the status of their state of origin. Additional dairy-specific testing is not required.

Contact BOAH at 317-544-2400 for more information.