At National Band & Tag, we produce orange Style 49 tags for the Brucellosis vaccine. Brucellosis or “Bang’s Disease” is a disease that infects heifers and causes abortion or premature calving of recently infected animals, most often between the fifth and eight month of pregnancy.
Bangs was the last name of the Danish veterinarian who first isolated Brucella abortus as the causative agent of Brucellosis back in 1897. Once a vaccine was formulated to immunize cattle against Brucella abortus it took on the name “Bangs vaccine.” Bangs vaccination can only be done by a licensed and accredited veterinarian who applies an official USDA orange metal tag and tattoo to the right ear at the time of vaccination. Orange metal ear tags are reserved for Brucellosis vaccines by APHIS under the Animal Disease Traceability Framework, Official Ear Tag Criteria report.
In 1934, the first year of the eradication program, about 15% of the cattle in the United States were infected with the disease. In 1942, the USDA declared Brucellosis to be the worst bacterial zoonotic disease (disease transferred from animals to humans) present at the time.
Currently, all 50 states are Brucellosis-Free. The biggest threat is from Brucellosis-affected wildlife such as elk, bison and deer, which can spread the disease to domesticated livestock.