TDA Reminds Livestock Haulers Of Federal Traceability Requirements

   The Tennessee Department of Agriculture is reminding haulers that anyone transporting livestock across state lines is subject to compliance checks under the federal Animal Disease Traceability rule. The rule, which went into effect in 2013, requires the identification of livestock being moved interstate.
   “The federal rule is an effective way to trace the movement of livestock in an animal disease event so that appropriate action can be taken to limit its spread,” state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Our current vigilance for high path avian influenza is a perfect example of this. The rule only applies to livestock being moved interstate, but it’s important that farmers work with their local veterinarian to obtain proper documentation.”
   The ADT rule requires all livestock, including cattle, equine, sheep and goats, swine and poultry, being moved interstate to be officially identified, unless specifically exempted. Livestock must be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements.
   Brands, tattoos and brand registration can also be used as official identification when accepted by the shipping and receiving states. Back tags are accepted as an alternative to official ear tags for cattle moved directly to slaughter.
   Animal health documentation is still required under certain circumstances for livestock being moved within Tennessee. Additionally, some states have documentation requirements that go beyond the federal rule. Producers should consult with their veterinarians to make sure that livestock that is transported complies with all regulations.
   In order to help with compliance, TDA has implemented a user-friendly online system already adopted by 20 other states that allows private veterinarians to submit and access health papers electronically. Veterinarians interested in participating can contact the State Veterinarian’s office at 615-837-5120 or
   For more information, visit USDA’s website at or for details about Tennessee’s animal health programs. ∆
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