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USDA’s Animal Disease Traceablility Rule To Take Effect March 11

The U.S. Department of Agriculture published its final Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule in the Federal Register Wednesday, making it effective March 11. The final ADT rule establishes regulations to trace U.S. livestock moving interstate.

Under the rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation.

The final rule accepts brands, tattoos and brand registration if that documentation is accepted by the shipping and receiving states or tribes. Backtags will be accepted as an alternative to official eartags for cattle and bison moved directly to slaughter.

What is most important to cattle producers, according to Dr. Kathy Simmons, Chief Veterinarian for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, is the USDA announcement that a separate rulemaking process will take place for beef cattle under 18 months of age. Currently, unless animals are moved interstate for shows, exhibitions, rodeos or recreational events, the final rule exempts beef cattle under 18 months from the official identification requirement. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.