New USDA regulation enhances nation’s ability to trace livestock moving across state lines
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced last week that the United States Department of Agriculture has completed a final regulation to improve the traceability of U.S. livestock moving across state lines. USDA finalized the regulation prior to Christmas and anticipates that the new federal regulation will become effective in March 2013.
The new regulation requires identification and documentation of livestock and poultry moving from state to state. Dr. Richard Wilkes, the Virginia State Veterinarian, said, “When the new regulation is fully implemented, Virginia and all of the states will be better able to protect their livestock and citizens from diseases that may affect animals alone or animals and people. It provides a framework that will allow the individual states to develop identification methods and procedures that will best meet their needs. I expect that USDA will eventually require the states to meet performance standards to demonstrate their ability to follow animal movements into and from their states.” Wilkes added that documentation accepted by the USDA includes animal identification and health papers or certificates of veterinary inspection for interstate movement that are already part of most states’ livestock importation requirements.
With that adoption, the United States now has a flexible, effective animal disease traceability system for livestock moving interstate that does not place undue burdens on farmers, ranchers and U.S. livestock businesses. USDA has more complete information on the new traceability regulation available at www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability.