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The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association is a grassroots organization whose individual producer members determine issues of importance to the state's livestock industry. With input into the policy development, each member has the opportunity to influence SDSGA's policy and priorities. Individual members of the Association pull together to make powerful decisions - dedicated to promoting the livestock industry and enhancing the opportunity for profitability.

SD Stockgrowers News

SD Stockgrowers Participate in USDA’s Animal Disease Traceability Review

SD Stockgrowers Participate in USDA’s Animal Disease Traceability Review

 

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association Vice-President Gary Deering and Executive Director Silvia Christen attended a listening session on Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) programs in Denver on May 4. The meeting was one of a series being hosted across the country as U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is reviewing the program and considering expanding requirements for identification of livestock moving interstate.

“Disease traceability and a healthy livestock herd are obviously critical to the future of our industry,” said Deering.  “But, we have a lot of concerns about the idea of expanding a mandatory ID program beyond what is being required right now.”

 

The current ADT program requires individual identification of all breeding age cattle that move interstate. Bangs tags, back tags, RFID tags or other forms of individual, permanent identification are all acceptable forms of ID under ADT.  At the session in Denver, and at other meetings across the country, USDA reviewed the current program requirements and their assessment of its effectiveness. Attendees at the meeting provided comments and contributed to a discussion facilitated by USDA in the afternoon.

“There are just too many unanswered questions with expanding the program to include feeder calves or other classes of cattle right now,” said Deering.  “Can USDA assure us that the data about each of our ranches is safe from hacking?  Who is going to bear the cost of the tags and computers needed to read them? Is the technology ready to keep up with the speed of commerce in our sale barns?  And, then there are concerns about the liability of doing something wrong or having it tracked back to the wrong person.”

Stockgrowers President Bill Kluck and SDSGA Animal ID Committee Chairman Kenny Fox plan to attend the May 24 meeting in Billings, MT. Additional meetings will be held in Omaha, NE on July 18 and Ft. Worth, TX on July 20. For more information about the meetings, go to https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/traceability.

Kluck said, “We know it’s a terrible time of year for USDA to expect people to drive to these meetings, so we’re asking everyone to submit comments to USDA about how you feel the ADT program is working and let them know if you’re interested in seeing it expanded to feeder cattle.”

“South Dakota Stockgrowers Association has always had concerns about a nationally mandated animal ID program and we’re still worried about the cost, liability and data security that comes with an electronic tagging requirement. I just don’t think our industry is ready for that, or that it keeps our herds any safer from a disease outbreak.” To submit written comments, visit www.regulations.gov and search “APHIS-2017-0016”

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Groups Ask President to Shut Down USDA’s Animal ID Road Tour

Groups Ask President to Shut Down USDA’s Animal ID Road Tour

 

Billings, Mont. – In a joint letter addressed to President Trump and Acting Secretary of Agriculture Michael Young, four groups ask for the cancellation of the seven upcoming meetings scheduled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to address the agency’s plans to expand its Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule. The agency had only announced the all-day meetings less than 30 days before they were scheduled to begin in April.

Specifically, the groups ask that the USDA immediately halt any further action toward expansion of the existing ADT program, cancel the public meetings scheduled for April and May, and extend the comment period to allow a minimum 120 days for producers to provide written comment on the effectiveness of the existing ADT program.

The groups raise concerns that the USDA is attempting to expand the ADT so that it more closely resembles the agency’s previously abandoned National Animal Identification System (NAIS), stating, “USDA received a clear message from United States cattle producers that the NAIS program – which this expanded ADT plan appears to mimic – was not acceptable.  We do not see any changes in the cost-benefit to producers and we do not see evidence that producers’ feelings towards an expanded ADT program has changed in any way.”

The groups state the agency’s meetings were hastily planned, that cattle producers were not given timely or adequate notice, and because the meetings are scheduled during the time of year when many cattle producers are busy calving, branding, artificial inseminating and moving to summer pastures, many producers will be unable to attend.

“Requesting producers to leave their operations for a full day for poorly noticed and ill-planned meetings right in the middle of the critical spring work confirms a severe lack of understanding by USDA of the realities facing United States livestock producers,” the groups added.

The groups further state the USDA’s road tour will be a waste of time and waste of tax dollars, contrary to the presidential directive that agencies reduce both their own expenses and the regulatory burden they impose on U.S. industries. The groups also express concern that the hastily planned tour is being conducted even before a new Secretary of Agriculture is confirmed.