New USDA Animal Disease Traceability Rule requirements

New USDA Animal Disease Traceability Rule requirements

Posted March 12, 2013

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today highlighted the new rules Iowa livestock farmers will have to follow under the Animal Disease Traceability Rule that went into effect on March 11, 2013.

The rule finalized regulations to improve the traceability of cattle/bison, equines, swine, sheep/goats, poultry and captive cervids moving in interstate commerce.

Under the rule, all covered livestock moved interstate will have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation unless they are specifically exempted. The proposed regulations specify approved forms of official identification for each species, but would allow the livestock to be moved interstate with another form of identification, as agreed upon by animal health officials in the shipping and receiving states.

Under the rule the official forms of identification are:

   • National Uniform Ear tag System (NUES) tags
   • Other official ID approved by the USDA
   • 840 tags, which are 15 digit ear tags and are reserved for US born animals

All tags after March 11, 2014, will have an official ear tag shield with either “US’ or the state postal abbreviation imprinted inside the shield. All animals tagged after March 11, 2015, will be tagged with tags that have “US’ or the state postal abbreviation.

Brands are acceptable only if the state of origin and the state of destination approve and have an agreement, but Iowa has no agreements in place and no current plans to develop any brand or commuter herd agreements.

The rule also requires an Interstate Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (ICVI) unless the animals are moving to an approved tagging site, directly to slaughter or an approved livestock facility and then to slaughter. All Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI – Health Certificates) must be sent to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Animal Industry Bureau within seven calendar days. Specie-specific guides to identifying interstate movement requirements can be found on the USDA web site.

Under the rule, approved livestock facilities are required to maintain records for five years, except for poultry and swine, where the requirement is records be kept for two years. Official identification distribution records must be kept by an accredited veterinarian or person or entity that distributes official identification devices for five years.

For more details about regulation, visit the APHIS traceability web site at