Livestock Marketing Association (LMA) is applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) rule as something that will work well for both producers and animal health officials.

Representatives from LMA praise the USDA’s final rule for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate. During the past 10 years, LMA has been an advocate for finding a workable, simple, and cost-efficient system. Seeing a need for cooperation and dialogue, LMA brought together 14 organizations in the livestock industry to form the Cattle ID Group (CIDG).

“With publication of the ADT final rule the cattle industry took a giant step forward,” said, Nancy Robinson, CIDG coordinator and LMA’s Vice President for Government and Industry Affairs. “It is clear that USDA heard the industry’s voice regarding this issue, which has great effect and economic significance to the industry.”

"Forming the CIDG, to respond to USDA’s development of a national animal disease traceability program has proven its value,” said Robinson. “The final rule shows that USDA has been very responsive to the CIDG and its member organizations’ concerns about the rulemaking process.”

As implementation of the national program for the adult cattle herd begins in the individual states, the CIDG and its member organizations expect to remain closely involved to assure that the ADT program remains a viable tool for the industry as well as federal, state and tribe animal health officials.

During a call to discuss the new rule with industry partners, Dr. John R. Clifford, Deputy Administrator and Chief Veterinary Officer for APHIS Veterinary Services program thanked Robinson for her “leadership in bringing cattle industry issues forward through the CIDG and working to get them resolved.”

Livestock auction owners have a vested interest in creating a viable ID/traceability system for themselves and the producers they serve.

“LMA is no stranger to animal ID and traceability in livestock markets,” says Tim Starks, DVM, LMA’s President and owner/operator of Cherokee Sales Company in Cherokee, Okla. “Market owners and managers understand the important role they play in helping to control and eliminate economically significant cattle diseases from the nation’s livestock her.”

Starks points to the success in recent years in eradicating diseases such as Brucellosis and helping to bring Tuberculosis under control.

The cattle industry’s job is not finished with the publication of the ADT rules today.

“We have much to do in overseeing the implementation of the ADT program to ensure that the way we envision the program is not derailed or left to the devices of others less invested in our industry,” said Starks, “We will keep working to accomplish the industry and USDA’s mutual goals for an effective, efficient and timely animal disease traceability system for the nation’s cattle herd.”

LMA’s Regional Executive officers have already started working with members and animal health officials in the states they represent to begin, as soon as possible, the ADT implementation process at their facilities.

“ADT is now the law of the land and I urge my fellow market operators to cooperate to the greatest degree possible to make this program work for their individual operations and for all concerned,” said, Starks.