|Publication number||US3826030 A|
|Publication date||Jul 30, 1974|
|Filing date||Apr 30, 1973|
|Priority date||May 8, 1972|
|Also published as||CA991850A, CA991850A1, DE2322855A1, DE2322855B2, DE7317050U|
|Publication number||US 3826030 A, US 3826030A, US-A-3826030, US3826030 A, US3826030A|
|Original Assignee||Universal Tag Co Ltd|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (17), Classifications (7)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Read [111 3,826,030 [451 July 30, 1974 EARTAGS  Inventor: Arthur Read, Lymm, England  Assignee: Universal Tag Company Limited,
Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England 22 Filed: Apr. 30, 1973 211 Appl.No.:355,457
 Foreign Application Priority Data May 8, l972 Great Britain 21440/72  US. Cl. 40/301  Int. Cl. G09f 3/12  Field of Search 40/300, 301
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,214,856 ll/l965 Brierley 40/301 3,260,007 7/1966 Hayes 40/301 Primary Examiner-Harland S. Skogquist Assistant Examiner-4. H. Wolff Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Mawhinney & Mawhinney [5 7] ABSTRACT A animal identification eartag comprises a male member having a tab and spike and a female member with an aperture which can be forced over the head of the spike. The male member is formed with the spike joined to the tab by a universal joint formed by a part spherical end on the spike resiliently retained in a socket in the tab, so permitting not only rotation of the tab about the axis of the spike but also limited angular movement about any transverse axis. The socket has an open end so that the jaw of an applicator can bear directly against the part spherical end of the spike so that the spike is held located when applying the tag to an animal.
15 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 3/1970 Nichols, Jr 40/300 EARTAGS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to eartags for marking livestock such as cattle, sheep and pigs.
Livestock can be marked in a number of different ways but eartags however are a particularly convenient way and have been used for many years. Many types of eartags have been proposed and used. Amongst the requirements for an eartag are that it can be readily fitted to the animal without injury thereto and that in use it should not be a cause of disease to the ear. It is essential that the tag should remain attached to the ear and should not pull out through engagement with snags, wire or the like. The tag should also be weatherproof so that it will not deteriorate and will remain visible.
2. Prior Art In recent years eartags have most commonly been made of plastics material rather than metal. Such materials can readily be made weatherproof and permit of the use of various different colours for tags thereby facilitating identification. Also it is possible clearly to mark plates of plastics material with identification characters, e.g., letters or numbers in contrasting colour with the plate.
In order to facilitate the pulling of an eartag free from wire or other snags, it is known to use eartags as described in U.S. Pat. Specification No. 3,214,856 formed in two parts, one part being a male member comprising a flat tab with an upstanding spike near one end of the tab and the other being a female member comprising a flat tab with an aperture near one end of the tab. The spike has a shank of smaller diameter than the aperture but is terminated with a pointed tip formed by a conical head which is of larger crosssection than the shank of the spike to provide a shoulder between the head and the shank. The aperture is of slightly smaller size than the head such that the head can be forced through the aperture by the resilience of the material of the tab and will be retained in the aperture. By proper dimensioning of the spike and aperture, such an eartag can be applied to the animal, using pilers, in a single operation, the spike and female tab cooperating to punch a hole in the animals ear and to secure the two parts of the tag together. When on the ear, the two parts can rotate freely relative to one another. The hole in the animal s ear is punched cleanly and rapidly heals permitting the spike and hence the male member to rotate on the ear. If, for example, wire gets caught between one of the tabs and the ear, as the animal moves its head, the wire will bear against a side edge of the tab and cause the tab to rotate. The tab will move round under such pressure until it lies clear of the wire. By this construction, therefore, the risks of an eartag getting caught up in a snag and pulling out of the ear are very considerably reduced compared, for example, with circular eartags having a central spike and aperture. It has also been proposed in U.S. Pat. Specification No. 3, l 84,874 to form the male part of a tag as described above in two portions, the spike being rotatable about its axis in an aperture in the tab of the male member.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed to reduce even further the risk of an eartag getting caught up in wire or other snaps.
According to the present invention, an animal identification eartag comprising a male member having a tab and spikeand a female member of hard plastics material with an aperture for receiving the head of the spike, the male member beiing formed in two parts, one part being the spike which is of hard plastics material, e.g., moulded nylon, and the other part being the tab portion, the spike at one end having a head with a pointed tip which head is of larger cross-section than the shank of the spike to form a shoulder between the head and the shank of the spike, the aperture in the female member being slightly smaller than the size of the head with the pointed tip such that the head can be forced through by the resilience of the plastics material so as to be retained thereon after the shoulder has passed through the aperture is characterized in that the spike, at its other end, has a part spherical portion which is retained within a part spherical cavity in the male member tab, which cavity is open on both faces of the tab whereby the end of the spike within or protruding from the cavity is exposed.
With this construction the two parts of the male member are assembled together, e.g., in a factory before sale of the eartag, so that the user has a two part tag which can be applied to the animal, in a single operation, in the known way using pliers. Since the end of the spike is in or protruding from the socket in the male tag is exposed, the pilers can engage this end so that the spike is held at the required angle for application. In principle, this end may have any shape (provided it is not spherical or cylindrical centered on the centre of the cavity) so long as the pliers are cooperatively shaped. The end of the spike most conveniently however is flatin a plane at right angles to the axis of the spike or has a recess engaged by a projection on the pliers.
When the eartag has been applied to the animal, not only can the male tab and female member rotate relative to one another about the spike axis but also limited pivotal movement in planes transverse to this axis is permitted by the universal joint so further facilitating the ease with which the eartag disengages from wire or other snags.
The spike and the female member are both made of hard plastics material. This is to ensure that these parts can cooperate to punch the hole in the ear and to be cooperatively interengaged in a single operation. The expression hard plastics material is used to define a material suitable for this purpose. Such materials are well known to manufacturers of eartags, typically a moulded nylon is employed. It will be appreciated that all plastics materials have some resilience; for the present purposes, the spike and the female member are made of material which is as stiff as possible commensurate with avoiding brittleness and permitting the two parts to engage one another by forcing the pointed tip into the aperture. It becomes impossible to separate the two parts without cutting or breaking one of them. The dimensioning of the aperture and spike and the choice of material can thus follow known practice.
The male tab portion is also conveniently made of the same hard plastics material. The part spherical end on the spike and the cooperating cavity in the male tab portion are preferably formed so that the end of the spike can be forced into the cavity by reason of the resilience of the material and is retained therein.
The female member may be a tab, e.g., a plate of uniform thickness. Preferably such a plate has a thickened portion around the aperture to provide a firm cutting edge for punching the hole in the ear. Other shapes of female member however may be employed and one convenient form is star-shaped, for example, a threepointed star.
The aperture may extend completely through the female member so that the head of the spike with the pointed tip protrudes beyond the surface of the female member. Alternatively the female member may be shaped to have a cavity enclosing this head, the head being retained by the aperture forming the mouth of the cavity. Such an arrangement ensures that both parts of the tag have to be cut or broken in order to remove a tag from an animal.
Identification characters may be marked on the tab or tabs.
In a construction having tabs on both the male and female members, the tabs may be shaped in any or a number of forms. To ensure that they rotate about the spike axis when caught in wire or other snags, the spike and the aperture are preferably arranged in a comer or at one end of the respective tabs. For example one or each tab may be elongate with substantially parallel sides and rounded or partly rounded ends. In another convenient shape, one or each tab is of elongate form with a maximum width nearer one end than the other and with the spike or aperture on the longitudinal axis between the position of maximum width and the nearer end. Such a tab may be symmetrical about the longitudinal axis and may have straight sides converging from the position of maximum width towards the further end, these sides merging in smooth curves to the end. In another convenient construction, one or each tab may be pentagonal, e.g., in the form of a regular pentagon with the spike or aperture near one apex. The two tabs may be of the same or different shapes and may be of the same or different sizes.
The tab for the male portion conveniently is a plate with a thickened part in which the part spherical cavity is formed. This cavity may have furrows in its surface to allow any trapped hairs to get out of the way.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of an eartag;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the eartag of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is a cross-section of the eartag of FIG. 1; and
FIGS. 4 and 5 are views similar to FIGS. 2 and 3 but of another form of eartag.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS in plan but with rounded comers and having a thickened portion 13 extending across one of the corners. Within this thickened portion is a part-spherical cavity 14, the cavity being located near one of the apices of the pentagon. This cavity 14 has its maximum diameter portion (considered in a plane parallel to the plane of the tab surface) within the thickness of the tab material so that a part spherical end 15 of the spike can be retained in the cavity 14 to form a universal joint permitting limited angular movement of the spike in any plane orthogonal to the axis of the spike and permitting also rotation of the tab about the spike. The end 15 is therefore a close fit within the cavity 14; the dimensions are such that the end 15 can be forced into the cavity due to the resilience of the material and will be retained therein. Removal is not possible in normal usage and would require cutting or breaking of the tab 10. The fit of the end 15 in cavity 14 is such however that the two parts can move relatively to one another quite freely.
Furrows may be provided in the surface of the cavity to allow any hairs which might be trapped between the end 15 and the wall of the cavity 14, owing to relative movement of the parts, to get out of the way of the end 15 and so pull out of the cavity.
The spike is also formed of hard moulded nylon and has a cylindrical shank 16. On the end of the shank opposite to the part spherical end 15, is a short cylindrical portion 17 of larger diameter than the shank terminated in a pointed conical tip 18. The cylindrical portion strengthens the tip and forms, at the junction between the conical portion 18 and the cylindrical portion 17, an edge 19 which cooperates with an aperture 20 in the female tab 12 for punching the hole in the animals ear.
The female tab 12 is also in the form of a flat plate. It may be shaped, in plan, to be similar to the male portion or it may be of different shape. As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the aperture in this embodiment is spaced away from the centre of tab which is elongate in form with one curved end. The tab is preferably made symmetrical about a longitudinal axis and the widest portion is preferably made to be across a line at right angles to the longitudinal axis, the aperture being located in the longitudinal axis between this line and that end of the axis which is nearer this line. A strengthening boss 21 is formed around the aperture.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 3, it will be seen that the part spherical end 15 is terminated in a flat portion 22 which, when the spike axis is normal to the plane of the tab portion 10, lies flush with the outer surface of the tab. This construction is for use with pliers having a flat jaw face so that the pressure of the jaw face on the tab and spike causes the spike to assume and keep the required direction with its axis normal to the plane of the tab when the eartag is being applied to the animal. Other shapes however may be used for this end surface 22 of the spike provided the jaw of the pliers is cooperatively shaped. It may, for example, be preferred to have a projection on the jaw of the pliers engaging in a correspondingly shaped recess in the end of the spike.
Both tab portions 10 and 12, in the regions remote from the spike and aperture may be made very thin provided the material is tough and not brittle. These portions can be made so thin that they are flexible under manual pressure thus providing yet a further advantage in enabling them to pull clear of snags.
FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a modification of the construction of FIGS. 1 to 3. The spike 11 and male tab 10 of FIGS. 4 and 5 are the same as the corresponding parts of FIGS. 1 to 3, but the female member 30 is starshaped being formed as a plate of uniform thickness and of approximately triangular form with each side edge formed of two straight portions at an obtuse angle to one another. The center of the member 30 has a thickened boss 31 with an aperture 32 similar to the boss 21 and aperture of the construction of FIGS. 1 to 3. The corners of the member 30 are made blunt by thickened portions 30. It will be seen that the shaping of the member 30 is such that it will, if caught in a wire or snag, pull clear easily, rotating if necessary on the spike to facilitate disengagement from the wire or snag.
1. An animal identification eartag comprising a male member having a tab and spike and a female member of hard plastics material with an aperture for receiving the head of the spike, the male member being formed in two parts, one part being the spike which is of hard plastics material and the other part being the tab portion having two substantially planar faces, the spike at one end having a head with a pointed tip which head is of larger cross-section than the shank of the spike to form a shoulder between the head and the shank of the spike, the aperture in the female member being slightly smaller than the size of the head with the pointed tip such that the head can be forced through by the resilience of the plastics material so as to be retained thereon after the shoulder has passed through the aperture, the male member tab having a part spherical cavity and the spike, at its other end, having a part spherical portion which is retained within said part spherical cavity in the male member tab, which cavity is open on both faces of the tab whereby the end of the spike within or protruding from the cavity is exposed.
2. An eartag as claimed in claim 1 wherein said other end of the spike is flat in a plane at right angles to the axis of the spike.
3. An eartag as claimed in claim 1 wherein the male tab portion is made of the same hard plastics material as the spike and female member.
4. An eartag as claimed in claim 1 wherein the part spherical end on the spike and the cooperating cavity in the male tab portion are formed so that the end of the spike can be forced into the cavity by reason of the resilience of the material and is retained therein.
5. An eartag as claimed in claim 1 wherein the female member comprises a tab.
6. An eartag as claimed in claim 5 wherein the female tab is a plate of uniform thickness with a thickened portion around the aperture.
7. An eartag as claimed in claim 5 wherein the female member is shaped to have a cavity enclosing the head of the spike. v
8. An eartag as claimed in claim 5 wherein the spike and the aperture are arranged in a comer or at one end of the respective tabs.
9. An eartag as claimed in claim 5 wherein at least one of the tabs is elongate with substantially parallel sides and at least partly rounded ends.
10. An eartag as claimed in claim 5 wherein at least one of the tabs is of elongate form with a maximum width nearer one end than the other and with the spike or aperture on the longitudinal axis between the position of maximum width and the nearer end.
11. An eartag as claimed in claim 10 wherein at least one of the tabs is symmetrical about the longitudinal axis and has straight sides converging from the position of maximum width towards the further end, these sides merging in smooth curves to the end.
12. An eartag as claimed in claim 5 wherein at least one of the tabs is pentagonal with the spike or aperture near one apex.
13. An eartag as claimed in claim 1 wherein the female member is star-shaped.
14. An eartag as claimed in claim 1 wherein the tab for the male portion is a plate with a thickened part in which the part-spherical cavity is formed.
15. In an animal identification eartag comprising a male member of plastics material with a tab portion and an upstanding pointed spike and a female member having an aperture, the spike at its pointed end having a head portion with a shoulder which is forcible through said aperture to secure the male and female members together; the improvement comprising the provision in said male member of a part spherical cavity and the provision of a part spherical head on said spike at the end remote from the point, the partspherical head and the cavity being cooperatively shaped with the cavity partially embracing the head to form a universal joint holding the spike on the tab, said cavity being open on both faces of the tab.
* i i I
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|US3260007 *||Jan 14, 1965||Jul 12, 1966||Hayes Norman J||Animal tags|
|US3503148 *||Mar 18, 1968||Mar 31, 1970||Dana Co C H||Animal marker|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|US8985059 *||Mar 13, 2013||Mar 24, 2015||Y-Tex Corporation||Insecticide strip and combination with identification ear tag|
|US20040116940 *||Aug 19, 2003||Jun 17, 2004||Gottfried Brem||Device for marking livestock and simultaneously taking tissue samples|
|US20040194358 *||Apr 15, 2004||Oct 7, 2004||Volk Daniel J.||Combined animal information tag and system|
|US20140083367 *||Mar 13, 2013||Mar 27, 2014||Y-Tex Corporation||Insecticide strip and combination with identification ear tag|
|WO2000063869A1 *||Apr 19, 1999||Oct 26, 2000||Ampro||Security label suitable for presentation purposes and the use of such label|
|U.S. Classification||40/301, D30/155|
|International Classification||G09F3/12, G09F3/08, A01K11/00|