Animal Disease Traceability – Overview

Just before Christmas 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule on “Animal Disease Traceability.” In brief, the final rule requires official identification and some form of documentation when adult beef cattle, dairy cattle, or show cattle cross state lines. Metal ear tags, brands, and other forms of low-tech identification are included, and there are several exemptions and provisions for flexibility.

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Press Release: USDA Issues Final Animal ID Rule

The USDA issued a final rule on Animal ID today.  While we are still working on a complete analysis of the rule, USDA’s announcement identified several important changes that it made to the proposed rule, which make this final rule far less burdensome on family farmers, ranchers, and backyard poultry owners.

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Press Release: Farm and Consumer Organizations Protest Animal ID Scheme


Contact: Judith McGeary, Executive Director

(P) 254-697-2661 | (E)


Farm and Consumer Organizations Protest Animal ID Scheme

Drought-Stricken Farmers and Ranchers Cannot Afford Costly Government Program


AUSTIN, Texas – September 18, 2012 – Organizations representing family farmers, ranchers, and consumers from across the country are fighting to protect drought-stricken livestock producers from a new costly regulatory program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) system, originally known as the National Animal Identification System (NAIS), remains a contentious issue because of the undue burdens that it will impose on livestock producers and costs that will be passed down to consumers, contributing to even higher food costs.

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FARFA Urges OMB to Stop New Animal ID Rule

The following letter was sent to the Office of Management and Budget on July 24, 2012. Send a copy to your Congressman, and urge him to also contact OMB! The PDF version with footnotes is available here.


The 62 undersigned organizations, representing family farmers, ranchers, and consumers, urge you to return USDA’s final rule on Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) to the agency for a legally adequate, thorough, and complete cost analysis.

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USDA Proposed Rule for Traceability of Livestock Moving Interstate

FARFA and 48 other organizations request an extension to the public comment period.


Below is an outline of some of the key provisions and definitions from USDA’s new proposed rule. References are to the section numbers in the proposed rule.

Basic rule: No person may move covered livestock interstate or receive such livestock moved interstate unless the livestock meet the requirements of new Part 90. (Sec. 90.2)

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Animal ID: Round Two

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just proposed a new rule that would expand requirements for tracking livestock that cross state lines.

We’re working with our allies to thoroughly analyze USDA’s proposal, which will take some time, but here are some quick highlights:

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