The U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) is reiterating its call to strengthen and establish a national animal identification system that works for, and is accountable to, all producers.
USCA says there should be no private control of data, or access to the data, without the prior approval of who the owner of the cattle was at the time of application of the official tags. All official USDA tag information should be held in state animal health databases and shared with federal animal health officials only as needed. Under no circumstances should a national cattlemen’s group coordinate or control producer data.
Producers should never be responsible for more than the cost of the tags.
Premises identification numbers (PINs) should not be required to acquire and apply EID tags. The same information can be gathered on health certificates and test charts and other animal health documents.
Official ID should only be required on breeding cattle and only as they move into interstate commerce, or as determined by each state’s importation requirements.
The use of USDA metal NEUS tags and electronic tags should continue for all classes of cattle. The industry requires more time to adapt and transfer to an all-electronic system; time will determine whether multiple systems can be used.
Only 840 series EID tags should be used as official EID on U.S. born and raised cattle (900 series tags are not unique in their official identification).
As the industry looks to adopt EIDs, financial assistance from USDA will be required to supply reader equipment, both low frequency (LF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF). As any future transition is made to EIDs, the process will eventually needs to move to UHF in order to improve read range and the ability to read animals and groups at speed of commerce.
USCA President Justin Tupper issued the following statement:
“USCA supports a voluntary national animal identification program and opposes the establishment of a national mandate. Our members believe that each individual producer knows what’s best for their herd as it relates to animal husbandry practices. We stand with a majority of state and national producer organizations that believe the same.”