Steelman: Routine livestock traces begin
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The Tennessee Department of Agriculture will conduct routine compliance checks beginning Jan. 1, 2015 for the federal Animal Disease Traceability rule. The rule went into effect last year and requires the identification of livestock being transported across state lines.

"The federal rule is an effective way to trace the movement of livestock in an animal disease event so that appropriate action can be taken to limit the impact on producers," state veterinarian Charles Hatcher said. "The rule only applies to livestock being moved interstate, but it'

important that Tennessee farmers work with their local veterinarian to obtain proper documentation."
The ADT rule requires all livestock, including cattle, equine, sheep and goats, swine and poultry, being moved interstate to be officially identified, unless specifically exempted. Livestock must be accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates.
Brands, tattoos and brand registration can also be used as official identification when accepted by the shipping and receiving states. Backtags are accepted as an alternative to official eartags for cattle moved directly to slaughter.
Animal health documentation is still required by the state under certain circumstances for livestock being moved within Tennessee. Additionally, some states have documentation requirements that go beyond the federal rule. Producers should consult with their veterinarians to make sure that any livestock that is transported complies with all regulations.

TDA is working to implement a user-friendly online system already adopted by 20 other states that will allow private veterinarians to submit and access documents electronically in order to help with compliance. Veterinarians interested in participating should contact the State Veterinarian's office at 615-837-5120 or animal.health@tn.gov.
For more information, visit USDA's website at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/traceability/ or www.TN.gov/agriculture for details about Tennessee's animal health programs.

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