Indiana’s laws that designate what types of identification and documentation are needed for livestock will soon be changing. Hoosier livestock producers and others have the opportunity to give their input on the proposed changes in a virtual public hearing, hosted by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture changed the federal requirements for ID and documentation for many livestock species, a program known as ADT (Animal Disease Traceability). Members of the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) recently voted to move ahead with changes to align Indiana laws with the new federal ADT standards.
BOAH is hosting a public comment period until the Board members reconvene on July 10, when they will vote for a second and final time on the proposed changes. Members will consider comments submitted until that time, to determine if the proposal should be modified.
To view the proposed rule changes, livestock owners, dealers, veterinarians and others should visit the BOAH website at: www.in.gov/boah/2328.htm. Comments may be submitted via U.S. Mail, on the website, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Under the new laws, beef and dairy cattle owners may have to adopt new forms of animal identification for their herds. Official ID (types that are recognized by USDA and state animal health agencies) will be limited to three types: 840 tags, NUES (National Uniform Eartagging System) tags (often called “brite” tags), and official program tags (such as orange calfhood vaccination tags). All must bear a US shield emblem to be valid.
“This update will improve the traceability of individual animals during a disease investigation,” explained Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh, DVM. “These forms of identification are tied to a physical location when they are issued and are more easily read—two critical features in tracing animals’ movements. Without these tools, Indiana’s efforts to keep our status in disease control programs and lift any related quarantines is severely hampered.”
In a related effort, BOAH proposes a record-keeping requirement for all purchases, sales, leases and movements of cattle and bison for five years. “Based on feedback BOAH received during the winter beef and dairy meetings, we opted to remove the in-state requirement for a certificate of veterinary inspection for intrastate change-of-ownership, and replace it with a producer-based recordkeeping plan,” said Marsh, adding, “Clear and accurate records can help a disease investigation. The faster we can trace an animal’s movements and identify potential contacts, the faster we can control potential spread of a disease and move toward recovery.”
In addition to guidance on ID and documentation for cattle, BOAH’s website has information for other major livestock species groups. Producers can also access resource lists for obtaining official ID through USDA-approved sources. If Board members approve the second reading of the rule, the new changes will take effect with the New Year in 2015.