(WSDA) – Washington State Department of Agriculture filed a notice of intent on Dec. 20 to update the rules concerning livestock identification, specifically requiring Radio Frequency IDentification, (RFID) in cases where cattle are currently required to be identified with metal tags. The proposed rule amendments would require official USDA RFID tags when: female cattle receive brucellosis vaccinations; bulls are sampled for trichomoniasis; and on all sexually-intact cattle and bison over 18 months old presented for sale at a public livestock market. Current rules already require official identification in these cases, but allow for the use of metal ID tags. The proposed amendments would swap metal tags for RFID tags. The paperwork filed by WSDA involves two Code Reviser (CR) 101 documents, proposing to amend WAC 16-86 Cattle and Bison Diseases and WAC 16-604 Public Livestock Markets with the language requiring the RFID devices. The next step in the rule making process is the filing of a CR 102, which also includes a public comment period. No date for this has yet been set, but it is not expected to occur prior to the end of the 2018 legislative session. More information is available online at agr.wa.gov/lawsrules.

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