UPDATE: New USDA rule requires tags on livestock

Posted on December 27, 2012


12-27-12 UPDATE: USDA announced it will publish the new rule in the Dec. 28 Federal Register, putting the new rule into effect February 26, 2013.

Read the full rule from the USDA/APHIS.

12-20-12: Livestock moving across state lines will need to be marked for tracking, according to a new USDA rule announced today.

The final animal disease traceability rule (ADT) will require cattle and other stock to have earmarks, tattoos or other forms of identification when crossing state lines, in order to help quickly track down disease. Animals will also need to be accompanied by a veterinary certificate of inspection.

The USDA hopes this nationwide tracing system will stall the spread of transmittable diseases.

Of the eight countries with the world’s largest beef industries, the U.S. and India are the only ones that don’t already have a tracking system in place.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) chief veterinarian Kathy Simmons released a statement today, in which she said she was “encouraged” that the USDA had been careful to take cattle owners into consideration. She said,

NCBA has been an industry leader in working diligently with USDA APHIS [Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service] to ensure cattlemen’s concerns are addressed in this new animal disease traceability program. We are encouraged by today’s comments from Secretary Vilsack, and we are in the process of thoroughly reviewing the rule and sharing this information with our members.

This rule will go into effect 60 days after being placed in the Federal Register.

UPDATE (10-21-12): American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Responds to USDA’s Final Rule on Livestock Traceability