The federal Animal Disease Traceability Rule (ADT), which will go into effect March 11, establishes minimum national official identification and documentation requirements for the traceability of livestock moving interstate.

The purpose of this rulemaking is to improve the ability to trace livestock in the event that disease is found.

While this rulemaking applies to a variety of livestock, the focus of this analysis is on expected economic effects for the beef and dairy cattle industries because they are likely to be most affected operationally by the rule.

Veterinarians’ role
Veterinarians will play an integral role in the new traceability regulations. Unless specifically exempted, livestock belonging to species covered by the regulations that are moved interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) or other documentation.

The ICVI is an official document issued by a Federal, State, Tribal, or accredited veterinarian certifying the inspection of specific animals in preparation for interstate movement. The requirement for recording the animals’ identification numbers on the ICVI ensures that the inspections have actually taken place for those specific animals. 

e-CVIs are an option
The USDA has stated in the Federal Register that paper-based or approved electronic ICVIs are acceptable to be used. Though some comments to the proposed traceability rule have suggested moving toward a totally electronic-based ICVI system, rulemakers noted that there are still areas of the country where electronic issuance of certificates that are Web-based is not possible at the locations where they are needed.

The final rule notes that while moving to increased use of electronic ICVIs is important, paper-based ICVIs will have a role in the foreseeable future. Additionally, even as the use of electronic ICVI systems become more widespread, it will still be necessary for enforcement purposes for the printouts of such certificates to accompany the livestock in transit.

One eCVI system that is available is HealthLINK from GlobalVetLINK, a system that generates official eCVIs using a secure, online system approved to move animals into all 50 states and three U.S. territories, on a standardized certificate.

GlobalVetLINK says that eCVIs are electronically available in real-time, to state animal health authorities of both the state of origin and destination, resulting in automatic compliance to the 7-day requirement.

In addition to the automatic distribution of eCVIs to state animal health officials, the database nature of GlobalVetLINK’s system allows for online certificate storage and easy certificate retrieval to comply with the document retention requirement of ADT.

Read “Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate” in the Federal Register here.

Find out more about eCVIs through GlobalVetLINK here.