The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has extended the comment period for the proposed rule on animal disease traceability. Input received on or before December 9 will be considered.
Under the proposed rule, livestock moved interstate would need to be officially identified and accompanied by a certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements on brand certificates. The proposed rule encourages the use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species. For example, metal ear tags are approved for cattle. States or tribes also are permitted to allow forms of identification, including brands and tattoos.
Knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are and where those animals have been is important to ensuring a rapid response when disease events take place. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system will help reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, cut the time needed to respond and decrease the cost to producers and government. Traceability systems also are increasingly required as a term of trade by export customers.
KLA will file comments on the proposed rule. Suggestions will include a focus on breeding age and other high-risk cattle. KLA’s comments also will encourage USDA and state animal health officials to recognize the many source- and age-verification programs that include identification.
For more information visit www.kla.org.