USDA extends comment period for proposed rule on animal traceability


WASHINGTON — The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service recently announced a 30-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule on animal disease traceability.

Under the proposed rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.


The proposed rule encourages the use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal eartags for cattle. However, recognizing the importance and prevalence of other identifications in certain regions, shipping and receiving states or tribes are permitted to agree upon alternative forms of identification such as brands or tattoos.

“We have significant concerns about the substance of the rule, and we appreciate the USDA providing more time for public comment,” stated Judith McGeary, executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance and vice-chair of the USDA secretary’s advisory committee on animal health.

“Our farmers are already struggling with the poor economy and terrible weather conditions in many parts of the country, and they needed additional time to be provide comment to the agency about the impact this proposed rule will have.”

“The USDA keeps saying that this is an animal health program, but it has failed to provide valid animal health reasons for it,” argued Bill Bullard, CEO of R-CALF USA. “The real push for this program comes from the giant meat packing corporations who want international standards to help their export markets.”


Animal disease traceability, or knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they’ve been and when, is very important to ensure there can be a rapid response when animal disease events take place.

An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the government.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Dec. 9.

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  1. When we moved from oklahomaa to Ohio in 09 our 2 cows and 1 bull our horse and our goats came with us. All our livestock was vet checket and the cows and bull had thier metal tags inserted into thier ears,the goats all had thier scrapies tags and our horse had her coggins test and she is freeze branded so are our cows and bull.The vet recorded all the tags numbers and sent paper work to Ohio and a copy of the horses coggins test.We also had copys of all the paper work with us.We have very few head of livestock and this was still alittle costly for us.The faarmers and ranchers with large heards will be putting out alot of money just to take thier animals to the sale barn.I personaly don’t think there needs to be anymore regulations on livestock,there is enough already!!

  2. Bill Bullard is right on the money. The only reason for animal ID is to comply with WTO regulations. Big business wants livestock owners who have no stake in exports to pay for it. USDA’s claim that they want to improve disease management is disingenuous. They aren’t practicing disease prevention, they are devising a method of damage control for the diseases they will knowingly allow to cross our borders.

  3. One cow coming from Canada coming into the food system with BSE set up the terriorization of the public by HSUS and other animal rights organizations on the hazards of meat eating. While one realizes NAIS its proposed to protect the public but the fear is that it will open up farms in being terriorized by animal rights in confiscations by HSUS and ASPCA and Animal Rescue Corps, or picketing for a vegan plate. Many people see NAIS as a license to steal. Least we forget the animal rights agenda uses an 800 number and anomymous reporting. In a confiscation, the animal rights agenda uses coersion, promises of non prosecution, if they release animals, and not above lieing about circumstances. We have prosecutors and probably judges trained in law school on animal abuse. But we all know these raids and confiscations are a big business in that the animals are sold just as a breeder would sell an animals and it is a big business but one that is absolutely unregulated. So does USDA want to make farmers targets of HSUS, ASPCA, ALDF and ALF? Remember these entities are agains all animal use and feel a return to nature is the best answer of all animals and work to protect all wild animals, under the endangered species act. I am more worried more about about protecting the Heritage breeds in our livestock and hope that one day they will not to become endangered species as a way to protect them from the vegan animal rights movement. In a recent survey over 30 percent of respondants felt that the wild horses should just be “left alone in nature”, now that is disturbing and shows no forethouht to the consequences of this attitude. Just as the NAIS sees no consequences for farmers in the NAIS agenda or the cost to the farmers. When the Animal Terriorism Act is tweaked, then maybe farmers will be more open to identification.


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