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R-CALF wants expansion stopped of disease traceability program

A few small livestock groups have asked the Trump administration to cancel this week’s meetings over expanding an Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) program at USDA. Bill Bullard, President of R-CALF USA says the USDA unilaterally decided to begin the process.

“What they are talking about doing essentially mimics what they tried to do back in the mid-2000’s with their National Animal Identification System,” says Bullard.

He tells Brownfield the USDA claims a mandatory program will allow for better disease prevention, but it will also help multi-national meatpackers expand their export markets. Currently, producers receive premiums for working with meatpackers on disease traceability programs.

“But if the packers can get the government to mandate this requirement then the packers receive this value-added information for free and the premiums that independent cattle producers are now receiving will evaporate,” says Bullard.

Bullard says he hopes the administration will stop the USDA’s expansion efforts and allow producers time to voice concerns.

“If they are genuinely interested in what producers think of the existing animal disease traceability rule, they should provide for a 120 day comment period so producers could articulate their concerns and positions,” says Bullard.

R-CALF USA, the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, and the Western Organization of Resource Councils sent a letter to the President  and the USDA’s acting deputy secretary asking the administration to stop action on the ADT program.

Click here to read the letter sent to President Trump

Audio: Bill Bullard, President, R-CALF USA

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