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USDA Seeks Input on RFID Eartag Proposal

Clint Thompson Alabama, Cattle, Florida, Georgia

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The Department of Agriculture is seeking public comment on the transition to RFID only ear tags. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) wants the public input on the proposal where APHIS would only approve RFID as the official eartag for use in interstate movement of cattle that are required to be identified by the traceability regulations.

An official eartag is defined as an identification tag approved by APHIS that bears an official identification number for individual animals. Regulations allow APHIS to approve tags that can be used as official identification, and both metal and RFID tags are current options. USDA says a transition to RFID tags would support APHIS’ ongoing efforts to increase animal disease traceability by more accurately and rapidly allowing animal health officials to know where affected and at-risk animals are located.

APHIS is also seeking comments on a proposed timeline for implementation. Public comments will be accepted through the Federal Register until October 5, 2020.

(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)