New livestock disease tracing program proposed

August 10, 2011 10:36:08 AM PDT
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says new rules for tracing diseased livestock would lead to greater compliance and improve the country's ability to market its products overseas.Vilsack on Tuesday announced a new proposal to require that animals be certified as disease-free before they can be transported between states. The rules would require transported livestock to be officially identified by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documents and have an approved form of identification, such as metal eartags for cattle.

Vilsack says fewer than 30 percent of producers participate in the current, voluntary program.

States would administer the new program and it would cost $14.5 million a year, which Vilsack says would require congressional support. He says the program would still reduce costs to producers and the government.

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