The USDA’s Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rules, in place since 2013, have limited scope and a fairly low level of recognition among beef producers, but ongoing discussions could lead to gradual expansion of the program.
In a late-November ADT webinar, hosted by GlobalVetLink, Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) Vice President for Government and Industry Affairs Chelsea Good reviewed some of those discussions and outlined likely directions for the future of the ADT program. LMA has been heavily engaged in the ADT issue for years, as its livestock auction member often fill the role of helping customers comply with ADT rules.
Good notes that the current law focuses on cattle of breeding age and dairy cattle, with a variety of exemptions for other classes. The current system does not cover beef feeder cattle, which represent the largest number of cattle moving in interstate commerce and potentially the greatest risk for transmission of disease. Also, when USDA designed the current rule, they included provisions for states to reach agreements on the types of identification and documentation required for covered livestock crossing their borders.
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