Cattle Magazine Health Letter from the Editor: Time to put the branding irons in the museum – Food Safety News

Letter from the Editor: Time to put the branding irons in the museum – Food Safety News


Later this week, the ranchers who belong to that group with the long name are holding their annual convention in Deadwood, SD. One major item on their agenda is to decide whether to continue to slow the use of RFID technology to keep track of livestock.

R-CALF USA  represents U.S. cattle producers. Its long-form name is the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America. In the last year, it’s gone to federal court to keep RFID technology at bay.

R-CALF USA is not alone in representing the cattle industry.   State cattlemen’s organizations from major beef producing regions are also involved in the RFID issue.   They’ve helped startup  U.S. Cattle Trace, a new disease traceability initiative.

Its goal is to develop a national infrastructure for disease traceability and encourage private industry’s use of the infrastructure for individualized management practices. Cattle Trace partners include the Kansas Livestock Association, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and Kentucky Cattlemen’s Association.

Maybe the cattle industry is going to put its branding irons away for the last time.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recently awarded contracts to purchase up to eight million low-frequency radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags.

The contract allows APHIS to purchase additional tags each year for up to five years.

“USDA continues its commitment to protecting our Nation’s animal agriculture by increasing traceability in the cattle and bison sectors, in this case by providing free RFID tags to interested