U.S. CattleTrace: The Producer-Led Animal Disease Traceability Initiative

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Callahan Grund about U.S. CattleTrace.

At the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Convention, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays talked with Callahan Grund, the Executive Director of U.S. CattleTrace. Hays and Grund discussed disease traceability in the cattle industry.

Grund said U.S. CattleTrace started in 2018 with a few pilot projects before becoming one producer-led organization. The goal of the U.S. CattleTrace is to develop a national infrastructure for disease traceability and encourage private industry’s use of the infrastructure for individualized management practices.

“The premise behind it is a voluntary animal disease traceability system that can work on behalf of producers, built by producers, and managed by and for producers to work with animal health officials in case a disease outbreak ever were to occur,” Grund said.

One tool to help with disease traceability is electronic tagging, Grund said, as there has been some good momentum and progress on this front.

“It looks like with the proposed amendment at USDA, and some of the murmurs we have heard across the industry, that we are going to transition those to requiring EID tags for those classes of cattle,” Grund said.

Whenever that transition does take place, Grund said feeder cattle are not required to possess a form of EID, but other classes of cattle will. Grund also talked about the speed of commerce and said it is a necessity for a producer-led initiative.

“We have to look at solutions that make this a speed of commerce contact tracing system for animal disease traceability, otherwise it just doesn’t work for us as producers,” Grund said.

CattleTrace partner organizations include the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, the Kansas Livestock Association, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association and Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association. To see the full list of CattleTrace partners, CLICK HERE.

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