Livestock identification is important to maintain the health of our nation’s cattle herd. Proper identification of livestock serves as the foundation for ranchers to create and maintain health, breeding and other records. Livestock identification also serves an important component of marketing by enabling producers and buyers to verify the age and source of livestock. That said, identification is only one part to keeping America’s beef herd healthy. CCA policies support voluntary programs to trace livestock and source and age cattle.
The U.S. remains the only industrialized nation to not have a mandatory government administered livestock identification program. Efforts at the federal level through the National Animal Identification System led to a vigorous debate throughout the industry regarding the need for a national identification program to trace an outbreak in disease to the source or the ranch or farm of origin.
The federal government has departed from the NAIS program and is rather in the process of promulgating a regulation requiring the mandatory identification of cattle moving only interstate. CCA policies still support identification programs that are voluntary in nature and do not slow or disrupt the speed of commerce.