SDCA Statement Regarding USDA’s Announcement on RFID Tags as Official ID

| March 24, 2021

March 24, 2021 (Pierre, SD) – Earlier this week, The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced they will not finalize the Trump Administration’s proposal to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags as official ear tags for interstate movement of cattle.  Instead, they will continue to move toward the use of RFID tags through the federal rulemaking process.

USDA’s statement came on the same day the SD Animal Industry Board announced bovine tuberculosis (TB) has been confirmed in a Corson county herd.  This is the first TB case in South Dakota since 2017.  SDCA President Eric Jennings issued the following statement in response to these traceability developments: 

“It’s unfortunate the Biden Administration has chosen to step back efforts to generate more widespread use of technology that could provide timely livestock traceability.  The recent identification of a TB positive cattle herd in South Dakota is just one of many examples where the utilization of RFID tags would expedite traceability and save our industry time and money. Instead, under the current system, traceback of potentially infected animals may take weeks or months rather than days, meanwhile additional cattle could be exposed to TB.  We urge the Biden Administration to move promptly in drafting rules to implement a more efficient livestock traceability system utilizing RFID technology.”