Proposed EID rule comment period open |

Proposed EID rule comment period open

United States Department of Agriculture

The United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced the pre-publication of their proposed rule to amend animal disease traceability regulations and require electronic identification for interstate movement of certain classes of cattle and bison. The rule will publish in the Federal Register as Docket No. APHIS-2021-0020, Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison.

The pre-publication information is currently available at
The proposed rule would require official eartags to be visually and electronically readable for official identification use for interstate movement of certain classes of cattle and bison. The proposed rule also clarifies record requirements related to cattle, including requiring official identification device distribution records to be entered into a Tribal, State, or Federal database and available to USDA, APHIS upon request. The proposed electronic identification (EID) rule applies to the following classes of animals: all sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age or older; all dairy cattle, with the definition of dairy cattle expanded by the rule to include any cattle regardless of age born on a dairy farm or cattle breeds used to produce milk for human consumption or crossbred calves of any breed born to dairy cattle; cattle or bison of any age used for rodeo or recreational events; cattle and bison of any age used for shows or exhibitions.
The existing rules currently allow for cattle or bison to move directly to slaughter without official identification if accompanied by an owner-shipper statement and only sold/resold as slaughter cattle with the requirement for animals to remain within the intended terminal slaughter channels.
The proposed rule makes no changes to using brands and tattoos as official identification when accepted by the sending and receiving states. Also, group/lot identification is considered official identification in cases when a group/lot identification number (GIN) may be used. Animals not impacted by the proposed rule would include animals that do not cross state lines or those already tagged with official EID, as well as animals exempted under the rule, such as beef cattle and bison under 18 months of age and animals going to slaughter or through an APHIS-approved market and then to slaughter.
The proposed rule identifies an implementation timeline for EID of 180 days (six months) after the publication in the Federal Register of a Final Rule. USDA, APHIS believes that these changes to incorporate EID would strengthen the nation’s ability to respond quickly to significant animal disease outbreaks. The proposed rule would enhance the ability of the United States to regionalize and compartmentalize animal disease outbreaks more quickly. Traceability of animals is necessary to form disease-free regions or zones that facilitate the re-establishment of foreign and domestic market access with minimal delay in the event of an animal disease outbreak. Having an EID system in place would minimize the spread of disease and lessen the trade impacts related to an animal disease outbreak.
Public comments will be accepted through 11:59 pm on Monday, March 20, 2023. Comments may be filed electronically by going to the Federal Register Docket site at and entering APHIS-2021-0020 in the search box, and following prompts in the docket file to submit comments.

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