LMA statement on USDA’s proposed Animal Disease Traceability program rule

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Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) will be carefully reviewing USDA’s proposed rule, released today and to be published in the Federal Register Aug. 11, to determine if it meets the markets’ expectations: that it is practical, workable and the most cost-effective ID/traceability plan possible for their businesses, their customers, and all segments of the U.S. cattle industry.

The ADT program would be mandatory upon implementation, unlike its predecessor voluntary program, the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).  The basic elements of the new ADT program would (1) apply only to animals moved in interstate commerce; (2) be administered by the states and tribal nations to provide more flexibility; 3) encourage the use of lower-cost technology, and (4) be implemented transparently through federal regulations and the full rule-making process.

Many of the issues surrounding the proposed ADT program have been worked out between USDA and the industry, and in particular, with the 12 national beef cattle, dairy and marketing organizations brought together by LMA to form the Cattle ID Group (CIDG).

We believe our work and that of the CIDG has been highly successful in developing and re-shaping many elements of the program that USDA is releasing for comment today. While a thorough review of that proposed rule by all the parties involved is certainly called for to determine if areas of concern or disagreement remain, we are confident that any such issues can be worked out through the industry’s comments on the proposed rule.

America’s livestock markets have long been a focal point for animal identification and livestock disease traceability.  For years, LMA has worked long and hard with federal and state authorities, and our industry partners, to shape ID and traceability programs that are practical, workable and cost-effective.

Those are the same elements we expect and need to see in the final ADT program.

LMA will be making the proposed rule available on its website, www.LMAWEB.com.

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