The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is now offering Washington ranchers a quicker, more cost-effective way to report cattle sales and out-of-state movement of their cattle through WSDA’s Electronic Cattle Transaction Reporting (ECTR) system.
Previously, beef producers had to pay fees and travel expenses for state inspectors to make in-person visits when cattle were sold or moved out of state. The on-line ECTR system was previously available only to dairy producers.
This year, as part of an industry-led push to modernize the state’s cattle identification system, WSDA expanded the ECTR system allowing cattle owners to electronically report ownership changes and out-of-state movement.
“Expanding the ECTR system is a major step toward simplifying and streamlining reporting requirements that increases efficiency and reduces costs for our producers as well as our agency,” WSDA Director Derek Sandison said. “It demonstrates important progress toward synchronizing the industry and government with today’s technology.”
Cattle producers using ECTR to report ownership changes and out-of-state movement could save up to 39 percent compared to using traditional livestock inspections. For example, if a rancher records the sale of 10 branded cattle with a traditional livestock inspection, the sum of the required fees would total nearly $50. The fees associated with a comparable sale for a rancher using the ECTR system total about $30.
The updated system came online earlier this month in a soft launch that provided time to make sure the custom software, that includes the ability to upload proof of ownership documents, was working smoothly. Now, with several successful registrations in the system, WSDA’s Animal Services Division is promoting ECTR to increase usage.
In addition to cost savings associated with change-of-ownership and out-of-state-movement transactions, the first producers who enroll in the system are eligible to receive free 840 RFID tags, which are required to use ECTR.
Producers with herds of 50 head or fewer will be eligible to receive 40 tags and one applicator. Those with herds of more than 50 qualify to receive 100 tags and one applicator.
All cattle that are reported in ECTR must have an official electronic individual identification (840 RFID) tag. A premises identification number is required to obtain 840 RFID Tags.
WSDA adopted ECTR application, licensing and reporting fees though a rule that went into effect October 24 authorizing the new ECTR system for use by cattle owners. The ECTR fee is currently set at $1.30 per head, and the system operates on a cost-recovery basis. By rule, WSDA will set the fee to match, as closely as possible, the costs associated with operating the program.
For more information about ECTR, contact WSDA’s Animal Services program at [email protected] or (360) 902-1855.