USDA is seeking comments on a proposed rule designed to improve the traceability of U.S. livestock that move across state lines if an animal disease event take place. The rule is flexible in that it allows states to develop systems for tracing animals that work best for them and for farmers and ranchers in their jurisdiction.
Under the proposal, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved between states 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 use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal eartags for cattle. However, shipping and receiving states can agree on alternative forms of identification such as brands.
Jordan Dux, Nebraska Farm Bureau national affairs coordinator, says cattle farmers and ranchers can receive assistance from USDA for this program. Listen here for more.
An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, cuts the time needed to respond, and lowers s the cost to producers and the government.
Beginning this week, USDA will be accepting comments on the proposed rule, through Nov. 9, 2011.
Dux says it’s important that cattle producers weigh in on this issue. Listen more here.
Dux says a few changes and guarantees need to be made for the proposal to gain full support from the Nebraska Farm Bureau. Listen more here.
Again, watch for further information from Nebraska Farm Bureau and a “Take Action” link on the Farm Bureau homepage in the coming weeks.