The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule will go into effect March 11, and owners of show cattle – or any other cattle that might be transported to other states – will be those immediately affected by the new program.
The rule requires individual identification for cattle that are moved across state lines for shows, rodeos and other recreational events. West Virginia will require an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) for incoming animals, as permitted by the federal rule.
“Traceability will allow a quicker and more efficient response to any case of communicable disease, resulting in less disruption to business and trade. I think West Virginia’s farmers see the value in this type of program,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Walt Helmick.
“This rule has been implemented for the sole purpose of protecting our nation’s cattle industries from widespread disease outbreaks,” added West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) State Veterinarian Dr. Jewell Plumley. “Having this type of information available is invaluable when we’re trying to determine what animals may have been exposed to disease.”
Specifically exempted from this rule are animals that are being moved to a custom slaughter facility in accordance with state or federal regulations. Beef cattle under 18 months of age are also exempt, as long as they are not being moved to take part in recreational events. Identification of those animals will be addressed through a separate rule-making process.
Owners of affected animals are advised to apply for a premise identification number if they do not already have one, and to purchase enough tags to identify their animals. Producers can request a premise ID application by contacting WVDA’s Shelly Lantz at 304-558-2214, email@example.com
. Tags can be purchased online from the manufacturers or, in many cases, at the local feed store. West Virginia recommends the use of the NUES, or “Brite,” metal eartags, or the so-called “840” eartags.
While producers may elect to use radio frequency (RF) eartags, no state or tribe may require RF eartags for cattle moving into their jurisdiction. This ensures that all producers using the low-cost official eartags may move their cattle to any other state or tribal land using that method of official identification.
According to the USDA, the animal disease traceability final rule will benefit producers in several ways. Low levels of official identification in the cattle sector require more herds and cattle to be tested during animal disease investigations than necessary, drastically increasing an investigation’s duration. For example, bovine tuberculosis disease investigations frequently now exceed 150 days. This means USDA and state investigative teams spend substantially more time and money conducting tracebacks.
As a result of the rule, accurate traceability information will be more readily available, enabling USDA to shorten investigation timelines, more quickly control the spread of certain diseases, and reduce the number of quarantined or disposed of animals. All of these improvements will help make animal disease outbreaks less costly for producers and help interstate animal movements continue. Identification also helps farmers better manage their herds by allowing more precise record-keeping.
For more information, contact WVDA Animal Health Division’s Burke Holvey at 304-269-0598, firstname.lastname@example.org
or Dr. Courtney Elkins at 304-269-6411, email@example.com
WVDA Animal Health Division’s Burke Holvey or Dr. Courtney Elkins
304-269-0598 or 304-269-6411