On  January 2, 2015, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) proposed several modifications to the animal disease traceability rules as they pertain to livestock marketing facilities. The proposed changes would amend the regulations governing approval of facilities that receive livestock moved in interstate commerce, and the conditions under which livestock may move to such facilities without official identification or prior issuance of an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) or alternative documentation.

The proposed rule also offers changes regarding veterinarian presence during livestock auctions at marketing facilities and types of documentation acceptable for cattle and bison shipped interstate to approved marketing facilities or directly to slaughter.

Originally, APHIS announced a 60-day public-comment period on the proposed amendments ending on March 3. With considerable stakeholder interest in the ADT program, the agency now has extended the comment period to April 15.

During the recent National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) conference, Jim Akers, a livestock market owner and Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) Government and Industry Affairs committee member, expressed some concerns over the current ADT program and the proposed rules. A key concern at the markets relates to the fact that ADT applies to cattle transported to other states. For example, the proposed rule indicates the market will determine whether a veterinarian needs to provide an ICVI, but the market often have no way of knowing the destination of cattle they sell, such as when order buyers purchase cattle for comingling and shipment to their customers.

Also, Akers says the proposed rule provides an exception to ADT requirements for cattle moving across state lines to approved livestock marketing facilities from their farm of  origin, meaning the animals were on the farm for at least four months prior to sale. The market has no way of knowing the history of such cattle coming through the sale, and LMA is concerned the rule could create an incentive for non-compliance.

Click here for more information on the extended comment period and on how to submit comments.

For more on the ADT discussions at the NIAA conference, read ADT update from Bovine Veterinarian.