Long Awaited Animal Disease Traceability System Final Rule Announced by USDAThu, 20 Dec 2012 17:35:41 CST
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced a final rule establishing general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate.
"With the final rule announced today, the United States now has a flexible, effective animal disease traceability system for livestock moving interstate, without undue burdens for ranchers and U.S. livestock businesses," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "The final rule meets the diverse needs of the countryside where states and tribes can develop systems for tracking animals that work best for them and their producers, while addressing any gaps in our overall disease response efforts. Over the past several years, USDA has listened carefully to America's farmers and ranchers, working collaboratively to establish a system of tools and safeguards that will help us target when and where animal diseases occur, and help us respond quickly."
Under the final 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 rule will be published in the Federal Register on December 28- it will become effective as of February 26, 2013 with USDA's Dr. John Clifford telling stakeholders in an informational call that the enforcement date has yet to be determined- but will probably be six months to a year out from the effective date. (You can hear the full Stakeholder call by clicking on the LISTEN BAR below.)
After considering the public comments received, the final rule has several differences from the proposed rule issued in August 2011. These include:
Accepting the use of brands, tattoos and brand registration as official identification when accepted by the shipping and receiving States or Tribes
Permanently maintaining the use of backtags as an alternative to official eartags for cattle and bison moved directly to slaughter
Accepting movement documentation other than an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) for all ages and classes of cattle when accepted by the shipping and receiving States or Tribes
Clarifying that all livestock moved interstate to a custom slaughter facility are exempt from the regulations
Exempting chicks moved interstate from a hatchery from the official identification requirements
Beef cattle under 18 months of age, unless they are moved interstate for shows, exhibitions, rodeos, or recreational events, are exempt from the official identification requirement in this rule. These specific traceability requirements for this group will be addressed in separate rulemaking, allowing APHIS to work closely with industry to ensure the effective implementation of the identification requirements.
For more specific details about the regulation and how it will affect producers, click here for a Q&A that the USDA has prepared on this proposed system.
Animal disease traceability, or knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been, and when, is very important to ensure 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 expected to be published in the December 28 Federal Register.
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