WASHINGTON – A 30-day extension of the comment period for the proposed rule on animal disease traceability has been made, the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced.

Under the proposed rule, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates, unless specifically exempted. It also encourages the use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal eartags for cattle.

However, recognizing the importance and prevalence of other identifications in certain regions, shipping and receiving states or tribes are permitted to agree upon alternative forms of identification such as brands or tattoos.

Animal disease traceability is very important to ensure there can be a rapid response when animal disease events take place, APHIS said. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the government, according to the agency.

This notice is published in the Oct. 7 Federal Register. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Dec. 9. Persons may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to
  •  Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-20091-0091, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Supporting documents and any comments USDA receives on this docket may be viewed at www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2009-0091 or in the reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, call (202) 690-2817.