R-CALF Raises Concerns With USDA Program
R-CALF USDA is concerned about potential harmful requirements under a USDA plan. The Department of Ag looks to reimburse producers for livestock that die when the government orders de-population efforts, during disease outbreaks such as foot-and-mouth disease. R-CALF USA said a branch of the USDA tried to circumvent Animal Disease Traceability regulations by requiring the use of RFID tags when adult cattle are moved between states. R-CALF CEO Bill Bullard said costs involved with the radio frequency technology could put some cattle ranchers out of business.
“Cattle producers will not recover the additional costs from the marketplace," said Bullard. "So, it's an additional burden on cattle producers that is unnecessary because current law grants them several devices to use that are far cheaper than the ARIP."
Brands, tattoos and back tags are allowed under current law, and Bullard says they provide the same results as ARIP. He added forcing the use of the expensive technology could be devastating to an industry that's seen depressed prices for nearly a decade.
"By adding additional production costs in a marketplace that is not returning the cost of production will contribute to the ongoing exodus of independent cattle producers across the United States," said Bullard.
Earlier this fall, R-CALF submitted formal comments to USDA against the required use of RFID tags.
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