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Animal ID traceability begins Jan. 1
The Texas Animal Health Commission adopted new rules for Animal Disease Traceability, according to a July Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas press release. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, all cattle 18 months of age (sexually intact, parturient or post-parturient) changing ownership in Texas must be tagged with a Texas Animal Health Commission approved permanent identification tag. The metal bangs tag, RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag, and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) metal tags will be the only approved permanent identification tags allowed at this time.
The Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, along with the majority of Texas livestock associations, supported an amendment to the proposed rule that would have allowed slaughter cattle to use a market back tag only instead of a permanent identification tag. Older cattle moving directly to slaughter need to avoid being placed in a chute and having a metal tag put in their ear. This practice would have eliminated many injuries, bruises, and additional stress placed on these cattle. Animal Disease Traceability would have been accomplished through the use of market back tags. Unfortunately, this amendment was defeated by a majority vote of state animal health commissioners.
The new rule, when enacted on Jan. 1, will require all producers and markets to permanently identify all adult cattle changing ownership in Texas. Ownership fire/freeze brands will not be recognized as a permanent means of identification for Animal Disease Traceability.
The Texas Animal Health Commission is still developing a program to distribute the metal identification tags to markets and producers.
Currently, the USDA rules concerning Animal Disease Traceability allows the use of market back tags for interstate cattle moving directly to slaughter.
If you have questions concerning the new rule, call the cattlemen’s association staff at 512-620-0162.
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