USDA Releases Animal Traceability Report From Working Group
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released Animal Disease Traceability: Summary of Program Reviews and Proposed Directions from State-Federal Working Group, an overview report of the Animal Disease Traceability Program (ADT) that includes a summary of stakeholder feedback and preliminary recommendations to improve the program. According to the report, an internal review of ADT by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in 2015 concluded that the program was well-managed, had clearly defined goals and objectives, and had achieved “incremental improvements” in tracing capability. In 2017, APHIS established a State-Federal Working Group pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act to help review ADT regulations, seek public comment on the program and offer proposals for improvements. The conclusions of the working group are published in the April report.
Several of the recommendations are related to electronic ID (EID) of cattle, including pursuing the standardization of technology and ear tagging, modifying EID requirements for some classes of cattle and providing subsidies for small producers. The group also recommended that ADT establish a mechanism to maintain and facilitate sharing of electronic records, better enforcement of program regulations and uniformity of state import rules.