Covering Louisiana

Dec 20, 2012 6:09 PM by Melissa Canone

Strain: USDA issues final rule for Animal Disease Traceability

Baton Rouge, La. (Dec. 20, 2012) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today issued a final rule for animal disease traceability, and Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. said state animal health officials are prepared to comply.

"The Office of Animal Health and Food Safety has worked for two years to beef up its capability to quickly respond to a livestock disease outbreak in anticipation of the USDA mandate," Strain said. "Our new state of the art animal traceability system includes electronic data capture and a state managed database which was partially implemented in June."

Strain said the new system creates a quick reference log which also provides LDAF officials another tool to track stolen or lost animals.

USDA officials said the rule is expected to be published in the Dec. 28 Federal Register and will become effective 60 days after publication.

Unless specifically exempted, the final rule applies only to livestock moving interstate.

At this time, beef cattle under 18 months of age, unless they are moved interstate for shows, exhibitions, rodeos, or recreational events, are exempt from the official identification requirement in this rule.

For more specific details about the regulation, visit www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability.

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