NCBA Emphasizes Disease Traceability Benefits from EID Cattle Tags

Photo credit: DTN file photo by Jim Patrico
Listen to Ethan Lane talk about disease traceability with EID tags.

At the National Association of Farm Broadcasters Washington Watch Event, Farm Director KC Sheperd had the chance to visit with the Vice President of Governmental Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Ethan Lane. In this episode of Beef Buzz, Senior Farm, and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays is featuring more comments from the conversation regarding EID cattle tags.

To listen to Part One of the conversation, CLICK HERE.

Lane said the final EID rule announced recently was “in line” with the proposed rule, and there were not any surprises.

“At the end of the day, I think it is important for producers that are worried about this or reading about it to understand what happened,” Lane said. “The 2013 Animal Disease Traceability Rule is what sets out this class of cattle needing to be traceable across state lines and moving interstate. That is those over 18 months intact, plus dairy cattle, rodeo cattle, etcetera.”

The new rule sets a standard for the technology that must be used to accomplish a visually and electronically readable tag. Lane said the rule will not go live until November.  

“If producers want to get grandfathered in under the old system, they can do that,” Lane said. “They can also go to their state health officials, get tags, and get tagged up under the new format. We worked hard during appropriations to make sure there was money available to cover the cost of those tags.”

Because EID tags are provided by the USDA free of cost, Lane said hopefully the transition will be less difficult for producers.

“We are going to continue to work to make sure that the guidelines that our producers have set out, that this be something that moves at the speed of commerce, that it protects our producers’ data, that they are not bearing the cost of, and that it serves as a nationally significant animal disease traceability program are met during this process,” Lane said.

Lane emphasized that there is no interest in adding younger cattle under 18 months of age to the cattle required to have an EID tag. He says that it is not in NCBA’s policy and USDA has stated multiple times they have no interest in going that direction.

To view the NCBA’s comments on USDA’s Traceability Rule, CLICK HERE.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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