As consumers become more source-conscious of their food and the agricultural industry presses for more traceability due to residue and disease issues, the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) plan is moving toward implementation.  

Steady, measurable progress can be noted since the ADT was initially rolled out in February 2010 to replace the National Animal Identification System.

The next step forward comes in a few weeks, if all goes according to plan. The proposed implementation plan is scheduled to be published in April (you can get an update on the plan at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s annual meeting that’s slated for April 11-14), with a public comment period to follow publication. The final rule is expected to be published 12 to 15 months later.

However, a number of groups remain opposed to the national traceability plan, and government budgetary constraints remain a cloud on the horizon.

Meanwhile, traceability moves forward more rapidly in states like Wisconsin, where due to state law, premises registration is mandatory. On Feb. 28, the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium recorded the  state’s one millionth Radio Frequency Identification number.

Wisconsin has already seen significant growth in RFID usage from March 2008 there were 138,260 RFID numbers recorded for use by various species across the state. A year later, that number increased to 405,134, then climbed rapidly to current figures of more than 1 million RFID tags.

Currently the organization estimates that 16 percent of the milking dairy herd in Wisconsin is identified by RFID.

Last August, the National Institute for Animal Agriculture and the United States Animal Health Association held a Joint Strategy Forum on Animal Disease Traceability. The forum resulted in this white paper.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released this update to the traceability plan in January.

Most recently, it offered up a list of approved ID devices last month and now this ear tag listing.