USDA seek s comments on improved disease traceability of U. S. livestock

Ability to track diseased animals is critical

Ellis Ellis The U. S. Depar tment of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Ser v ice (APHIS) issued a proposed rule on August 11 to establish general regulations for improving the traceability of U. S. livestock moving interstate if an animal disease event takes place.

Under the proposed rule, livestock moving interstate would have to be officially identified unless specifically exempted.

The proposed rule encourages the use of low-cost technology, and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal eartags for cattle.

“The ability to track where diseased or at risk animals have gone or been moved from, is critical in ensuring a rapid response should an animal disease event take place,” Dr. Dee Ellis, State Veterinarian from Rockdale, said. “We encourage all interested stakeholders to comment on this proposed rule,” Ellis stated.

An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals affected by the disease itself or movement restrictions.

A traceability system also reduces the time needed to control the spread of the disease and ultimately decreases the cost to producers.

This notice was published in the Aug. 11 Federal Register.

Comments must be received on or before Wednesday, Nov. 9. Comments may be submitted by the following methods:

• Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to component/main?main= DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2009- 0091 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

• Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send two copies of your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2009- 0091, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A- 03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2009-0091.

For more information regarding the proposed animal traceability rule visit http://www.aphis.usda. gov/newsroom/2011/08/pdf/ QAtraceabil.VS.pdf.

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