Cattle EID tag debate continues despite final rule from USDA APHIS

Debate continues on USDA’s final rule regarding EID tags for cattle.

The APHIS rule was announced back in April requiring official identification on cattle and bison eighteen months of age or older moved between states.
The tags must be visually and electronically readable.

Senator Mike Rounds of South Dakota has introduced a bill that would counteract the APHIS rule. However, given Congress’s slow legislative pace, it is unlikely the proposal will impact the rule’s enforcement.

It is expected to go into effect on November 5th.

USDA says that the final rule is an effort to provide greater disease traceability for cattle here in the U.S., an issue that livestock groups have been showing more and more interest in.

According to Gene Noem of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, a new program could meet several needs in the swine industry specifically.

“One is give reliable, accurate data really timely to regulators to be able to identify where the disease is and help stomp it out. The other one is, you know, ‘I’m 1,000 miles away from where the disease is. I could still continue to have continuity of business,’ and so, the U.S. industry, with the help of some leaders from Iowa State and funding from the Pork Board, has established a program called the U.S. SHIP program. U.S. SHIP stands for Swine Health Improvement Program and that one has an element of traceability, premise ID, where do pigs come grom, who do I contact, all those kinds of things. And then also just some routine monitoring to ensure— I’m using air quotes— ‘freedom of’. If we can have that program in place across the nation, whereever the disease isn’t, we have a better chance of maintaining continuity of business,” Noem explains.

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