USDA Proceeds with New EID Rule Requirements for Certain Classes of Cattle

Natalia Bonilla

| Cattle & Dairy | General

| May 29, 2024

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has taken a significant step forward in tracing animal disease and outbreaks by amending the previous 2013 ADT (animal disease traceability) rule. This initiative aims to save time for both APHIS and livestock producers who experience significant downtime during these investigations, as well as help decrease the spread onto other herds.

The USDA believes transitioning from traditional metal tags to mandatory electronic identification (EID) tags for cattle to help limit any foreseeable disease spread across the nation.

What is EID?

EID, or Electronic Identification Devices, are tools made for operations, regardless of size. By simply scanning the ear tag of an animal, ranchers can access comprehensive individual history through an EID reader. This technology goes beyond identification; it facilitates a more streamlined livestock weighing system, and more. Rather than managing cattle as a collective herd, ranchers can now track individual performance metrics, allowing for real-time decision-making and enhanced animal care. USDA-approved EID tags are typically 15-digit round tags that start with the digits “840.” These tags can be read visually or electronically, offering versatility in monitoring and management.

The USDA is phasing out traditional metal tags, making EID tags the required option for cattle identification. The reasoning behind this change being enforced is due to program disease testing, and interstate movement. This new enforced rule plans to limit the disease outbreaks across foreign markets. The EID swap will become mandatory starting November 2024.

NCBA has worked to secure $15 million in funding for producers to reduce the cost to implement this new EID rule. Many producers are familiar with the visual tag, this money will help facilitate EID’s into a new operation. 

Classes of Cattle Requiring USDA Official ID for Interstate Movement

The USDA mandates official identification for specific classes of cattle during interstate movement to enhance traceability and disease control. The following categories of cattle are subject to these requirements:

Beef Cattle & Bison

– Sexually intact animals 18 months or older

– Used for rodeo or recreational events

– Used for shows or exhibitions

Dairy Cattle

– All female dairy cattle

– All male dairy cattle born after March 11, 2013

This initiative ensures that livestock are appropriately tracked and managed, significantly reducing the risk of disease outbreaks and promoting the overall health of the cattle population.

For more detailed information about the rule change and its implications, visit the USDA’s official website.

The enforcement of EID by the USDA marks a significant advancement in animal disease traceability. By embracing this technology, ranchers can enhance their operational efficiency and safeguard the health of their livestock. This change underscores the importance of modern agricultural practices in maintaining a healthy and sustainable cattle industry.

EID Compatible Software

With platforms like Herdwatch, vital information such as weight, age, breed, and management details are displayed on a single, user-friendly interface. This centralized system of data collection revolutionizes how ranchers manage their livestock, leading to more effective management practices. The software’s EID compatibility means that each cattell’s data is linked to its unique electronic tag, allowing for easy retrieval and management of information. This makes it simpler for producers to comply with ADT (Animal Disease Traceability) and make informed decisions about their livestock. Overall, Herdwatch’s EID compatibility helps producers streamline their operations and improve the management of their herds.

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