In April, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation many in the Ag industry believes will restore financial solvency to the Livestock Inspection Program.  LIP, which has roots dating back to the 1860's, is entirely funded by fees paid by the livestock industry and receives no state general fund dollars.  But in recent years, the program has been in financial crisis.  The inspection fees it relies on are set in statute and had not been adjusted since 2006.


Over time, rising costs outpaced fee revenue.  The livestock industry worked with lawmakers in Olympia to develop a new fee structure to fully fund the program.  Under the new law, livestock inspection fees are modified, the Washington state Department of Ag will allow certified private inspectors to check livestock and it expands the Electronic Cattle Transaction Reporting (ECTR) system for dairy cattle to all cattle.


“Currently that fee, enroll is $1.30 per head, and then they would pay the required animal disease traceability fee and beef commission fee," said WSDA’s Jodi Jones.  "One thing to note though, the ECTR system is a cost recovery program.  We have to make sure that the revenue and the expenditures are the same.  And so, that fee of $1.30 could be reduced, significantly in the ECTR system.”


The new law also expands the Livestock Identification Advisory Committee from six to 12 members.  Jones said the biggest change producers will notice, the restoration of financial solvency of the LIP, allowing the program to continue to offer services into the future.


“We will also be able to provide additional options for producers, in terms of more inspectors out there, to meet the needs of producers as well as a new reporting system for producers to electronically report.”


Jones said the new LIP will also increase the use of official Electronic Identification helping WSDA focus on animal disease traceability into the future.  To learn more about the updated LIP, visit the WSDA's Blog.





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