USDA Proposal on Electronic ID Tags Only for Animal Disease Traceback

Thu, 01 Sep 2022 10:01:47 CDT

USDA Proposal on Electronic ID Tags Only for Animal Disease Traceback

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Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is back with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Director of Animal Health and Food Safety Policy, Chase DeCoite, talking about animal disease traceback.

DeCoite said while electronic ID tags can be useful for tracing animal disease – there are additional applications that can help carry information for value-added traceback efforts.

“NCBA really is supportive of this program only from a perspective of animal disease traceability,” DeCoite said. “We want those other programs to remain on a voluntary basis and we want those to be market driven and continue to allow our producers to capitalize on what the market demands with some of the program-based electronic identification systems, electronic data transfer, and program cattle.”

NCBA supports the efforts by the USDA to move forward in a way that is solely focused on enhancing disease traceability of the tags, DeCoite said, but as an industry, the more these programs interact in the future to allow producers to comply with the law and do what is best for their operation is always on the table.

“Threats of foreign animal disease like foot and mouth disease, or a disease that we are watching right now such as lumpy skin disease which is occurring in the south pacific- those things are always threatening and, on our doorstep, but probably even more imminent today than it has been in the future as we watch our friends in Australia with their concerns over Indonesia and their outbreak of foot and mouth disease,” DeCoite said.

Australia is on high alert to safeguard their cattle herd, DeCoite said, and the U.S. is watching things closely too because many American citizens travel to Australia.

“We also have a lot of trade with Australia that could be impacted by foot and mouth disease or lumpy skin disease, so we are watching our international components as well,” DeCoite said. “Electronic ID in particular can limit the spread of disease and keep our producers and our nation’s cattle herd as safe as possible.”

Hopefully, DeCoite said, the Biden Administration will be releasing something on this issue sooner rather than later.

“We are looking forward to learning more based on their proposed rule that we expect before the end of the year and look forward to engaging with our agency partners to ensure that rule accurately reflects what the cattle industry really needs and is asking for,” DeCoite said.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Chase DeCoite talking about the future of animal disease traceback and electronic ID.

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