USDA Ready to Enforce Animal Disease Traceability Regulations
March 7, 2014

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) sent a bulletin this week outlining the next phase of implementing Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) regulations including enforcement actions when needed. 
 
"We know that sometimes taking enforcement action is necessary to make sure a system as important as ADT is successful," APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea said in a note to stakeholders. "When and where necessary, we will take that action. As a standard practice, we will continue to notify first-time offenders when they do not meet the regulatory requirements to ensure they understand the regulation and what they need to do to comply. Additionally, we will now pursue appropriate penalties in situations where an individual repeatedly fails to comply with the regulatory requirements." 
 
The ADT program was finalized in March 2013 to hasten response to a disease outbreak and lessen its economic impact, as well to provide the information and assurances trading partners expect. 
 
Shea said progress over the last year is now making it easier for producers to participate. The number of authorized tag distributors has expanded, a greater variety of official identification devices are on the market and several states are working to make health certificates more mobile for use in the field. 
 
APHIS will now begin exercising and testing the system by making sure all animals moved interstate have the proper identification. 
 
The identification component of the National Scrapie Eradication Program complies with the ADT regulations.