Ag industry waiting for more details on animal traceability rule

The director of government affairs with the American Farm Bureau Federation says he’s eager to see USDA’s final Animal Disease Traceability Rule.

R.J. Layher tells Brownfield the proposed rule was consistent with AFBF policy on animal disease traceability.

“Animals under 18 months old moving along the interstate won’t need an electronic tag. Animals that are going to cull won’t need an electronic tag. For those animals moving interstate over 18 months old and in tact, they will need to be electronic and visibly readable.”

The proposed rule is currently being reviewed at the Office of Management and Budget and Layher says once the rule is published a six-month implementation period is expected.

“If it’s published in the Federal Register on May 1, then, November 1 would be the final date people would have to comply, but we don’t know how long it will sit at OMB and when exactly this will be published.”

Layher says Farm Bureau supports voluntary animal disease traceability and it’s important USDA takes an approach to the issue that’s conscious of what producers pay for if they move animals across state lines.

Congress also included $15 million in the 2024 Fiscal Year appropriations for electronic identification tags that could be required under the rule.

USDA gave an update on animal identification at the National Institute of Animal Agriculture’s annual conference last week in Kansas City.

  • The main problem with this traceability is that there is no central data base for the tags other than where they were first issued to! As a veterinarian I am responsible for knowing where I applied them. If an animal shows up with a tag I was issued years before they think I should be able to tell them where all it has been and I would have no clue as it may have been sold numerous times & if it has been in state I would have no record. Supposedly the states would have some record if it has gone interstate in it’s movement but once again if it changes ownership within the state of destination there’s no records!

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