New rules for electronic ear tags for cattle

By Peggy Kirk Hall, director of agricultural law, Ohio State University Agricultural and Resource Law Program

Producers shipping certain types of cattle and bison across state lines might have to use electronic identification (EID or RFID) tags if a final rule developed by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) becomes effective. Federal funding is available to help producers obtain the EID tags. But efforts are underway to stop the EID rule from taking effect. As we’ve seen in the past, disagreements continue over animal traceability and EID mandates. Here’s an update on the current events surrounding the EID issue.

The APHIS final rule

The final rule announced by APHIS on April 26, 2024 will amend the animal traceability rule enacted in 2013. That rule requires “official identification” on certain cattle and bison moved in interstate shipment for the purpose of animal disease traceability. Under the rule, “visual” ear tags are a form of official identification, in addition to certain pre-approved brands and tattoos and group lots.… Continue reading