The Missouri Cattlemen's Association (MCA) and Missouri Farm Bureau (MFB) sent a letter to Missouri Director of Agriculture Jon Hagler to encourage reestablishing the Missouri Animal Identification Advisory Committee to provide guidance on implementation of the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) system. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its final rule to implement a national ADT system. The rule will become final in March, subsequent to a 60-day comment period. Each state has the responsibility of implementing the final rule.
When the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was being discussed a few years ago, the Animal Health Division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture saw value in establishing the Missouri Animal Identification Advisory Committee to provide guidance on program implementation in Missouri. The letter, penned by MFB President Blake Hurst and MCA President Chuck Massengill, noted that the advisory committee was a "successful endeavor at that time" and encouraged MDA to establish a similar committee.
"As we have learned in the past, effective communication is important, and our organizations believe the advisory committee can play an important role by providing feedback/input to you and your staff and keeping our farmer and rancher members informed," penned Hurst and Massengill.
The letter notes that the system is to be administered by the state to provide flexibility and to allow for the most cost-effective technology to be used.
The new ADT rule applies only to animals moved in interstate commerce. The new rule is satisfactory to the MCA and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The rule includes many recommendations provided by interested organizations such as MFB and MCA. The rule recognizes brands as official identification when agreed upon by both the shipping and receiving states. It also maintains back tags as an alternative to ear tags for animals moving directly to harvest. Perhaps, most importantly, the rule exempts cattle under 18 months of age, with the intent to phase in these animals through separate rulemaking once the system is proven effective for breeding cattle.
Source: Missouri Cattlemen's Association