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USDA Implements Animal Traceability Rule


By: GFB News
3/21/2013 8:34:31 AM


The USDA's Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule, which requires official identification for livestock being moved across state lines, went into effect on March 11. The species covered in the rule include beef and dairy cattle, bison, sheep and goats, swine, horses and other equines, captive cervids like deer and elk, and poultry.

According to Georgia State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Cobb, the ADT rule calls for cattle and bison crossing state lines to be accompanied by an official interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) or other movement document as agreed to by both the shipping and receiving states. Cattle and bison traveling directly to slaughter to be harvested within three days do not require an ICVI.

In addition to the ICVI, cattle and bison are subject to the following identification requirements:

* Beef cattle and bison - ages 18 months and older will require official individual identification, consisting of official ear tags, metal ear tags, electronic identification ear tags or a registration tattoo or brand. Beef cattle going directly to slaughter may travel with back tag identification. Steers, spayed heifers and cattle under 18 months of age are exempt from the identification rules.

* Dairy cattle - Female dairy cattle of any age and all males born after March 11, 2013, are required to be officially identified, as are steers. DHIA official ear tags are accepted as official ID.

* Exhibition livestock - All exhibition/show and rodeo cattle and bison require individual identification.

* Livestock markets - Cattle and bison moving through livestock markets must meet the identification and travel requirements.

The rule phases in the use of official tags with the U.S. route shield with either "US" or the state postal abbreviation stamped inside the shield. All tags imprinted after March 11, 2014, must have this shield, and all animals tagged after March 11, 2015, must have tags with the shield on them. Official tags will be distributed to official tagging sites. Producers, veterinarians and livestock markets may be approved to become official tagging sites. Metal ear tags can be obtained from the Georgia Department of Agriculture for free by calling (404) 656-3667.

For poultry and swine, the rule reduces the record-keeping requirements from five years to two years. Interstate movement of chicks from hatchery and redistributor is exempt. Growers are required to keep records of where they obtained the birds.

The rules for moving goats, sheep, swine and cervids have not changed.

To view the final rule in its entirety, visit For more information call the Georgia Department of Agriculture at (404) 656-3671 or (404) 656-3667.


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