Ag News

USDA backs off RFID mandate for livestock

The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), citing presidential executive orders and industry feedback, announced on Oct. 25 it was pulling back the reins on its radio frequency identification (RFID) requirements in its animal disease traceability program.

The move came three weeks after independent ranchers sued APHIS over the rule.

In a statement posted on its website, APHIS indicated it would revisit the RFID guidelines. The agency has removed an RFID fact sheet from its website.

“Recent executive orders have highlighted the need for transparency and communication on the issues set forth in the Factsheet before placing any new requirements on American farmers and ranchers. See Executive Orders 13891 and 13892. Consistent with these orders, APHIS has decided not to implement the requirements outlined in the April 2019 Factsheet regarding the type of identification devices that USDA-APHIS will regard as official eartags and the dates by which they must be applied to cattle,” the APHIS statement said, noting that it will reconsider traceability and make a new proposal.