1229 CBEreport

12/29/2012 7:00 AM

USDA has announced a final rule that it says establishes general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate.

Unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate will have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.

The rule, though, is limited in scope, as it exempts beef cattle under 18 months of age from the official ID requirement unless they are moved interstate for shows, exhibitions, rodeos or recreational events.

The specific traceability requirements for this group will be addressed in separate rulemaking, says USDA. This will allow its Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to work closely with industry to ensure the effective implementation of the ID requirements, it says.

The U.S. now has a flexible, effective animal disease traceability system for livestock moving interstate, without undue burdens for ranchers and U.S. livestock businesses, according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

USDA began development of the rule nearly three years ago and issued a proposed rule in August last year. It received more than 16,000 comments and took all these into account, Vilsack said.

USDA has requested $14 million for the system’s initial implementation, and Congress has so far approved $8 million.

Pennsylvania Center for Beef Excellence Inc. with information from the CME Report, Cattle Buyers Weekly and other resources. For more information, call 717-705-1689.

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