An overview of the Animal Disease Traceability for Cattle – Final Rule
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.
On December 20, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a final rule establishing general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate.
Under the final rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as an owner-shipper statement. However, Arizona laws supersedes the final rule and is very specific that all animals (unless otherwise specifically provided for) transported or moved into the state of Arizona, must be accompanied by a health certificate (CVI). Note: Always check with the state for their requirements when transporting/moving livestock.
Producers may apply official identification to their own animals before they are transported interstate, and metal ear tags are available at approved tag distributors in Arizona.
For more specific details about the regulation and how it will affect producers, visit the USDA-APHIS Traceability website.
Full text of the USDA-APHIS final rule Traceability for Livestock Moved Interstate published in the Federal Register can be found here.
ADT General Requirements
The Traceability for Livestock Moved Interstate rule establishes minimum national official identification and documentation requirements for the traceability of livestock moving interstate. The species covered in the rule include cattle and bison, sheep and goats, swine, horses and other equines, captive cervids (e.g., deer and elk), and poultry. The covered animals moved interstate, unless otherwise exempt, would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) or other movement document.
The requirements do not apply to livestock moving:
• Entirely within Tribal land that straddles a State line and the Tribe has a separate traceability system from the States in which its lands are located
• To a custom slaughter facility in accordance with Federal and State regulations for preparation of meat
Other exemptions are applied on a species-specific basis.
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.
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