A 30-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule on animal disease traceability has been given by USDA. Several organizations, including R-CALF USA and the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting an extension to allow sufficient time for the people who will be affected to analyze the rule and submit comments.
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.
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.
This notice is published in the Oct. 7 Federal Register. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Dec. 9. Find out more on how submit comments here: