With mandatory country-of-origin labeling scheduled to take effect on Sept. 30, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a document clarifying the rules as they apply to producers. A key provision is that USDA will accept producer affidavits as evidence of the country of origin for livestock. Buyers such as stockers or feeders who commingle animals from multiple sources will be able to use the initial affidavits from their suppliers to produce their own affidavits identifying the animals in the commingled lot. The document also lists other types of records that will meet the requirements for COOL verification, including birth records, receiving records, purchase records, animal health papers, sales receipts and documents for participation in USDA Quality System Verification Programs or the National Animal Identification System.
The rule, which was formally published in the Federal Register on Aug.1, can be viewed by clicking here.