Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Interstate Cattle Movement Impacted by USDA Rule

A new USDA Animal Disease Traceability rule requires that livestock be officially identified before they are moved across state lines. University of Missouri Extension Veterinarian Craig Payne says everyone involved in the cattle industry should be aware of the rule that went into effect nationwide on March 11.

“This regulation applies to the interstate movement of cattle in the U.S.,” Payne said, “and under the regulations there are three classes of cattle that will be impacted.”

“If you are shipping sexually intact beef cattle 18 months of age or older out of state those animals will have to be officially identified and have a certificate of veterinary inspection,” Payne said. 
Another class of cattle that will need to be identified and have a certificate of veterinary inspection is any cattle, regardless of age, that are going out of state to a rodeo, recreational event, show or exhibition.

“The last one pertains to dairy cattle,” Payne said. “All female dairy cattle regardless of age and all male dairy cattle including dairy steers born after March 11, 2013 will require official identification as well as a certificate of veterinary inspection before moving out of the state.”

There are some exemptions to the identification requirement of the rule such as cattle moving directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment and those moving directly to a tagging site in another state such as livestock markets that have been authorized by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, State or Tribal animal health officials.

“The big thing to keep in mind is that in terms of beef cattle, anything less than 18 months of age is not going to require identification,” Payne said. “Also, there are a quite a few exceptions and details in this rule so if you have any doubts about what is required contact your veterinarian or state animal health official.”

Payne says the primary forms of identification that will be used include the silver or “brite” metal ear tags. “If heifers have been brucellosis vaccinated their orange brucellosis vaccination tag will qualify,” Payne said. “There is also a tag called an AIN tag which has a 15 digit number beginning with 840. These include a variety of different types; one is the electronic identification tag and there is also a visual tag.”

“The final thing to remember about the rule is it is not a substitute for individual state import regulations which may be more stringent than the USDA regulations,” Payne said. Because of this, Payne recommends that you call the destination state prior to shipment to make sure you are in full compliance with their import regulations.

Click for more information about the Animal Disease Traceability. 
(Courtesy of Craig A. Payne, DVM, MS University of Missouri)

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