Cattle groups agree on traceability principles

by Bryan Salvage
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WASHINGTON — Eight cattle industry organizations have agreed on a statement of 12 principles in the development of a cattle disease traceability identification system in the belief the discussion of a national animal identification plan had moved away from those most affected by it.

Organizations representing the beef, dairy and marketing sectors developed the statement of principles during a meeting in Kansas City, Mo., in November. Organized by the Livestock Marketing Association, in cooperation with its cattle industry partners, the meeting’s goal was to work toward a common understanding and approach to enhance current cattle identification and traceability systems for animal disease surveillance and control in the U.S.

They agreed an I.D. plan for the cattle industry should be species-specific because of the diverse way cattle are raised, marketed and processed. The plan was presented Dec. 18 to U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Edward Avalos, and other agency officials and recently transmitted to members of Congress.

The discussion of what is “a practical, workable, cost-effective plan for cattle disease ID traceability has largely moved from the cattle production and marketing sectors, said Nancy Robinson, L.M.A. vice-president for government and industry affairs.

Groups signing the statement of the 12 principles included L.M.A., the American Angus Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, R-CALF USA, Texas Cattle Feeders Association and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association.

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