Frequently Asked Questions
What is animal disease traceability?
Knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been and when, is important to ensuring a rapid response when animal disease events take place. Animal disease traceability (ADT) does not prevent disease. However, an efficient and accurate traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in a disease investigation and reduces the time needed to respond, which reduces the economic strain on owners and affected communities.
Why is the USDA issuing this rule on animal disease traceability?
This rule will improve our ability to trace livestock and poultry when there is a disease event. While existing animal disease programs provide us with some traceability information, tracing capabilities vary widely by species. This ADT regulation focuses on those species, such as the cattle sector, where improved capabilities are most needed. The cattle sector's inconsistent use of official identification and significant interstate movement warrant regulations that enhance the current traceability infrastructure. Certain other species - sheep for example - already have adequate traceability through existing disease program requirements, such as the current scrapie eradication program. For those species, no additional traceability requirements will be needed.
How does this rule benefit producers?
The ADT final rule will benefit producers in several ways. Low levels of official identification in the cattle sector require more cattle (often thousands of animals) be tested during animal disease investigations than necessary, drastically increasing an investigations than necessary, drastically increasing an investigation's duration. For example, bovine tuberculosis disease investigations frequently now exceed 150 days, causing USDA and State investigative teams to spend substantial amounts of time and money conducting tracebacks. With ADT, accurate traceability information will be more readily available, enabling officials to shorten investigation timelines, more quickly control the spread of certain diseases, and reduce the number of quarantined or disposed of animals. All of these improvements will help make animal disease outbreaks less costly for producers and help interstate animal movements continue.
How will animal disease traceability information be maintained?
ADT information will be maintained at the discretion of the State and Tribal Nations.
Who will hold the information needed to conduct traces?
Or How will USDA gain access to this information when a disease event occurs?
Information is maintained at the discretion of the States and Tribal Nations, though USDA will continue to assist States and Tribal Nations as requested. The information systems used to support animal disease traceability follow secure data standards to ensure compatibility of databases, so information can be provided to USDA and other States/Tribes when needed for animal disease programs.
Are all interstate movements of cattle and bison included on the regulations?
No. All animals moved directly to a custom slaughter facility are exempt from the regulation. Also, these regulations do not apply to the movement of livestock into and from Tribal lands when the movement is across a State line.
Will Kansas accept brands as identification?
No, Kansas is not a "brands state" and will not accept brands as official identification or brand certificates as official documentation. Brands do not offer any individual identification when cattle are commingled.
What type of records must I maintain?
While the person responsible for the animals leaving their farm or ranch for interstate movement is required to ensure that a copy of the ICVI accompanies the shipment, there is no requirement that the producer maintain a copy of the movement documents. However, it is highly encouraged that herd records with this information be maintained to assist animal health officials in the event that any of the animals are part of a disease investigation.
Where can I find more information about interstate movement?
Where can I find out what other states for livestock imported into their state?
Contact each state to find their requirements or visit the USDA-APHIS website with links to each state's import regulations and contact information: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/animals/animal_import/animal_imports_states.shtml