The federal government has changed course on a requirement for radio frequency identification, or RFID tags in cattle. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service issued a statement saying they will not implement their April 2019 Factsheet requirements regarding the type of identification devices that must be applied to cattle.
That’s a decision welcomed by RCALF-USA’s CEO Bill Bullard. He says, “It was unlawful for USDA to issue such a mandate without first going through what’s known as the public notice and comment rulemaking process, so we’re very pleased that we have essentially won our lawsuit very quickly.”
APHIS says traceability remains an important objective, and they believe that RFID devices will provide the cattle industry with the best protection against the rapid spread of animal diseases. Bullard tells Brownfield the expensive radio tags are not necessary. “Their brands are a means of animal traceability that works very well in locating disease suspects. We also have producers that use their own ear tags, that use the metal ear clips, the bangs-type ear tags.”
Bullard says he expects APHIS to continue pushing for RFID cattle tags and RCALF-USA will keep resisting them. “This is a battle that we’ve been fighting since the mid-2000s, and we expect we will continue battling this for years to come.”
APHIS says they withdrew the current factsheet requirements because they did not meet President Trump’s government transparency requirements under two executive orders.
Source: Brownfield Ag News