LEWIS, Iowa — As exhibitors and their families prepare for two upcoming national livestock shows, Chris Clark, beef specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, reminds everyone to be aware of the new USDA rule requiring official identification for all interstate commerce.
“The final rule for animal disease traceability went into effect March 11, 2013. It requires official identification and an official certificate of veterinary inspection for nearly all livestock crossing state lines,” Clark said. “This includes all livestock, including cattle and bison less than 18 months of age, moving across state lines for exhibitions, rodeos, shows and similar events.”
Generally, beef cattle and bison under 18 months of age are exempt and do not require official ID at this time, but Clark said this general exemption does not apply to livestock traveling for exhibition.
“All cattle and bison traveling across state lines for exhibitions, rodeos and other recreational events require official ID, regardless of age," he said.
With the American Royal in Kansas City set for Oct. 23 to Nov. 3, and the North American International Livestock Exhibition in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 9–22, it is vital that those intending to exhibit at either show make sure they have all proper show and USDA required identification and other forms now. The same will be true for future regional and national livestock exhibitions like the Fort Worth Stock Show and the National Western Stock Show.
Clark said official identification is specifically defined for each species and it is imperative that exhibitors and their families understand what constitutes official identification for the species they intend to exhibit.
“On the Iowa Beef Center website, we’ve posted a summary of official identification information that includes resources to help explain the various acceptable forms of identification,” Clark said. “In addition, livestock owners should be aware that 4-H and FFA tags do not count as official identification.”
See the two-page animal disease traceability summary resource at www.iowabeefcenter.org/information/AnimalDiseaseTraceabilityInfo.pdf.
Cattle and bison can be officially identified by brands or registration tattoos when this is agreed upon by the state of origin and the state of destination, Clark added.
“In these situations, brands must be registered with brand inspection and accompanied by an official brand inspection certificate and registration tattoos must be accompanied by a certificate of breed registration,” he said.
Because the USDA rule is separate from the show requirements for each individual show, show entry forms and catalogs may or may not describe this official identification as a requirement. But without official identification, it is very possible that an animal could be deemed ineligible for exhibition. Exhibitors should plan ahead and use all available resources to ensure compliance with the official ID requirements.