Animal disease traceability, or knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been, and when they were there, is very important to ensure a rapid response when animal disease events take place. 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.
In December 2012, the US Department of Agriculture announced a final rule establishing general regulations for improving the traceability of US livestock moving interstate. This new rule in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 9CFR 86, states that any state, tribe, accredited veterinarian, or other person or entity who distributes official identification devices must maintain for five years a record of the names and addresses of anyone to whom the devices were distributed.
This recordkeeping system must be designed so you can report the specific address at which official tags were used in animals. It is recommended that this recordkeeping system be designed to allow veterinarians to rapidly trace tags following a request from the USDA Veterinary Services Assistant District Director or the State Veterinarian in Wisconsin. Official identification eartags are accountable property of the USDA and their use is addressed in the Standards of Accredited Veterinarian Duties found in 9CFR 161.4(j) which states: an accredited veterinarian shall be responsible for the security and proper use of all official certificates, forms records and reports; tags, bands or other identification devices; and approved digital signature capabilities used in his or her work as an accredited veterinarian and shall take reasonable care to prevent the misuse thereof.