USDA finalizes regulations for traceability of US livestock

USDA announced a final rule for improving the traceability of US livestock moving interstate. The regulations mandate that unless exempted, livestock must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or documentation such as owner-shipper or brand certificates. Other changes include:

  • Accepting the use of brands, tattoos and brand registration as identification when accepted in the receiving State,
  • Maintaining backtags as an alternative to eartags for cattle and bison moved directly to slaughter, 
  • Accepting movement documentation other than an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for all ages and classes of cattle when accepted by shipping and receiving States,
  • Clarifying that livestock moved interstate to custom slaughter facilities are exempt, and
  • Exempting chicks moved interstate from hatcheries from identification requirements.