[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 6 (Wednesday, January 9, 2013)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 2039-2075]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-31114]



[[Page 2039]]

Vol. 78

Wednesday,

No. 6

January 9, 2013

Part IV





 Department of Agriculture





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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service





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9 CFR Parts 71, 77, 78, et al.





 Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 78 , No. 6 / Wednesday, January 9, 2013 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

9 CFR Parts 71, 77, 78, and 86

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0091]
RIN 0579-AD24


Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the regulations to establish minimum national 
official identification and documentation requirements for the 
traceability of livestock moving interstate. Under this rulemaking, 
unless specifically exempted, livestock belonging to species covered by 
the regulations that are moved interstate must be officially identified 
and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection 
or other documentation. These regulations specify approved forms of 
official identification for each species but allow the livestock 
covered under this rulemaking to be moved interstate with another form 
of identification, as agreed upon by animal health officials in the 
shipping and receiving States or Tribes. The purpose of this rulemaking 
is to improve our ability to trace livestock in the event that disease 
is found.

DATES: Effective Date: March 11, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Neil Hammerschmidt, Program 
Manager, Animal Disease Traceability, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 
46, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-3539.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

I. Purpose of the Regulatory Action

a. Need for the Regulatory Action

    Preventing and controlling animal disease is the cornerstone of 
protecting American animal agriculture. While ranchers and farmers work 
hard to protect their animals and their livelihoods, there is never a 
guarantee that their animals will be spared from disease. To support 
their efforts, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has promulgated 
regulations to prevent, control, and eradicate disease. Traceability 
does not prevent disease, but knowing where diseased and at-risk 
animals are, where they have been, and when, is indispensable in 
emergency response and in ongoing disease control and eradication 
programs.
    We have clear indications that higher levels of official 
identification enhance tracing capability. For example, through the 
National Scrapie Eradication Program, 92 percent of the cull breeding 
sheep are officially identified at slaughter, primarily using flock 
identification eartags. This level of official identification made it 
possible in fiscal year 2010 to achieve traceback from slaughter of 
scrapie-positive sheep to the flock of origin or birth as part of the 
scrapie surveillance program 96 percent of the time, typically in a 
matter of minutes. Other diseases, particularly contagious ones, 
require that we trace to more than the birth premises, i.e., to other 
premises where the animal has been after leaving the birth premises but 
before going to slaughter, so the scrapie model is not a complete 
solution for such diseases.
    APHIS believes that we must improve our tracing capabilities now 
not only to address current concerns, including the increasing number 
of cases of bovine tuberculosis, but also to ensure that we are well 
prepared to respond to new or foreign animal diseases in the future.
    On August 11, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 
50082-50110, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0091) a proposal \1\ to amend the 
regulations by establishing minimum national official identification 
and documentation requirements for the traceability of livestock moving 
interstate. Under the proposed regulations, unless specifically 
exempted, livestock belonging to species covered by the rulemaking that 
are moved interstate would have to be officially identified and 
accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection 
(ICVI) or comparable appropriate documentation. The proposed rule 
specified approved forms of official identification for each species 
but allowed the livestock covered under the rulemaking to be moved 
interstate with another form of identification, as agreed upon by 
animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes. 
The purpose of the proposed rule was to improve our ability to trace 
livestock in the event that disease is found.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, supporting documents, and the 
comments we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2009-0091.
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b. Legal Authority for the Regulatory Action

    Under the Animal Health Protection Act (AHPA, 7 U.S.C. 8301 et 
seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to issue orders 
and promulgate regulations to prevent the introduction into the United 
States and the dissemination within the United States of any pest or 
disease of livestock. APHIS' regulations in 9 CFR subchapter B govern 
cooperative programs to control and eradicate communicable diseases of 
livestock. The regulations in 9 CFR subchapter C establish requirements 
for the interstate movement of livestock to prevent the dissemination 
of diseases of livestock within the United States.

II. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Regulatory Action

a. New or Revised Provisions

    This section provides a brief summary of the more significant 
changes we are making to this final rule in response to comments on the 
August 2011 proposed rule. Both the comments and the changes will be 
discussed in greater detail later in this document. The changes are 
listed below in the order they are discussed later in this document.
     We are extending the phase-out period for manufacturer-
coded AINs from 12 months to 24 months to make the transition less 
burdensome for producers.
     We are revising the definition of official eartag and 
adding a new definition of official eartag shield. These changes will 
allow the use of State or Tribal postal abbreviation or codes within 
the U.S. Route Shield in lieu of ``U.S.''
     We are revising the language of the exemption from the 
traceability requirements for animals moved interstate to custom 
slaughter to indicate clearly that the exemption applies to all 
interstate movement to a custom slaughter facility. The proposed rule 
contained language that implied that the meat must be consumed by the 
person moving the animal to custom slaughter. This was not the intent 
of the proposed rule. A significant number of backyard poultry growers 
commented and expressed concerns about the official identification 
requirement for movement of poultry to a custom slaughter facility.
     We are reducing the requirement for the maintenance of 
interstate movement records for poultry and swine from 5 years to 2 
because, as noted by numerous commenters representing those industries, 
poultry and swine have shorter lifespans than do the other livestock 
species covered by this rulemaking. The requirement will

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remain 5 years for cattle and bison, sheep and goats, cervids, and 
equines.
     In addition to eartags, in this final rule, we are 
recognizing brands, when accompanied by an official brand inspection 
certificate as means of official identification for cattle when the 
shipping and receiving States or Tribes are in agreement. We are making 
this change in response to the many comments we received on this issue 
advocating that we retain brands as a means of official identification 
for cattle. Additionally, we are allowing similar provisions for 
tattoos and breed registry certificates.
     In response to many commenters from the cattle industry, 
we will make feeder cattle (cattle under 18 months of age) subject to 
our official identification requirements in a separate rulemaking 
rather than in this one.
     We will continue to allow backtags to be used in lieu of 
official identification on direct-to-slaughter cattle rather than 
eventually requiring official identification, as we had originally 
proposed to do. We are stipulating, however, that for backtags to be 
used on such animals, the animals will have to be slaughtered within 3 
days of their movement to the slaughter plant.
     We are no longer requiring that cattle and bison moved 
interstate to an approved tagging site be officially identified at the 
site prior to commingling with cattle or bison from other premises. 
Under this final rule, commingling can occur prior to official 
identification provided that other practices are used that will ensure 
that the identity of the animal's consignor is accurately maintained 
until the animal is tagged with an official eartag. We are making this 
change in response to numerous comments expressing concerns that 
operations at approved tagging sites could be slowed during busy 
periods.
     We are clarifying the circumstances under which multiple 
official identification methods, including official eartags, may be 
used on the same animal.
     We are exempting poultry growers that are not 
participating in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) and that 
receive chicks from a hatchery or redistributor from the official 
identification requirements, with the stipulation that the producers 
maintain certain records, e.g., of the supplier of the birds. Many 
backyard poultry growers noted that group/lot identification of these 
birds was not applicable and that individual identification of these 
chicks was impractical.
     We are allowing the use of other interstate movement 
documentation, in lieu of an ICVI, as agreed to by the shipping and 
receiving States or Tribes, for cattle and bison of all ages. The 
proposed rule only allowed such an exemption for cattle and bison under 
18 month of age.
     We are providing additional exemptions from the ICVI 
requirement for equines moving interstate under certain conditions.

b. New Part Number

    In the August 2011 proposed rule, the new traceability regulations 
were contained in a new 9 CFR part 90. In this final rule, we are 
placing them in a new part 86 instead. The discussion below of the 
comments and our responses to them will reflect this change in 
numbering. When citing specific changes we are making in this final 
rule to the regulatory text, we refer to part 86.

III. Costs and Benefits

    While this rulemaking applies to cattle and bison, horses and other 
equine species, poultry, sheep and goats, swine, and captive cervids, 
the focus of this analysis is on expected economic effects for the beef 
and dairy cattle industries. These enterprises are likely to be most 
affected operationally by the rule. For the other species, APHIS will 
largely maintain and build on the identification requirements of 
existing disease program regulations.
    There are two main cost components for this rule: Using eartags to 
identify cattle and having ICVIs for cattle moved interstate. The 
combined annual costs of the rule for cattle operations of official 
identification and movement documentation will range between $14.5 
million and $34.3 million, assuming official identification will be 
undertaken separately from other routine management practices; or 
between $10.9 million and $23.5 million, assuming that tagging will be 
combined with other routine management practices that require working 
cattle through a chute.
    Direct benefits of improved traceability include the public and 
private cost savings expected to be gained under the rule. Case studies 
for bovine tuberculosis, bovine brucellosis, and BSE illustrate the 
inefficiencies currently often faced in tracing disease occurrences due 
to inadequate animal identification and the potential gains in terms of 
cost savings that may derive from the rule.
    The benefits of this rulemaking are expected to exceed the costs 
overall.

IV. Discussion of Comments

    We solicited comments concerning our proposal for 90 days ending 
November 9, 2011. We reopened and extended the deadline for comments 
until December 9, 2011, in a document published in the Federal Register 
on October 7, 2011 (Docket No. APHIS-2009-0091, 76 FR 62313). We 
received 1,618 comments by that date. They were from cattle and other 
livestock producers and producers' associations, livestock marketers 
and marketing associations, representatives of State and Tribal 
governments, and individuals. They are discussed below by topic.

Rationale for and Scope of the Rulemaking

    Some commenters viewed our proposed animal traceability regulations 
as a one-size-fits-all approach to animal disease management. It was 
suggested that a risk-based approach focusing on specific animal 
diseases would be more effective than an overarching animal 
traceability program.
    Traceability is a common epidemiological need, regardless of the 
disease. If APHIS relied only on the traceability provided by disease 
control and eradication programs, there would be a void when the 
programs were concluded. That, in fact, is the case today with our 
progress toward successful eradication of many diseases. For example, 
as we noted in the preamble to the August 2011 proposed rule, the 
success of our brucellosis eradication program, while certainly a 
positive development, has resulted in a steep decline in the number of 
cattle required to be officially identified. As a result of decreasing 
levels of official identification in cattle, the time required to 
conduct other disease investigations has been increasing. An improved 
traceability system would help address the risk of new, emerging, 
foreign, or reoccurring diseases. Our new approach to animal disease 
traceability provides a flexible solution that is endorsed by the 
animal health officials who conduct disease control programs.
    Other commenters offered criticisms of our approach from the 
opposite perspective. A commenter stated that to ensure adequate 
traceability, the rule should apply to all livestock sold commercially, 
and not just livestock moving interstate. The commenter further stated 
that covering all commercial livestock under our regulations can be 
justified under the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. A 
commenter representing

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a foreign government stated that our proposed traceability system was 
not sufficiently comprehensive in that it would cover only animals 
moving interstate, would exempt animals being slaughtered for personal 
consumption from the requirements, and would allow different States to 
have their own traceability systems. Another commenter emphasized the 
latter point, stating that an overarching national system would be more 
beneficial for traceability purposes than would allowing States to 
enact their own requirements.
    We are not making any changes to the final rule in response to 
these comments. Our statutory authority to regulate livestock movement 
derives from the Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8305), which 
authorizes the Secretary ``to prohibit or restrict the movement in 
interstate commerce of any animal, article, or means of conveyance, if 
the Secretary determines that the prohibition or restriction is 
necessary to prevent the introduction of dissemination of any pest or 
disease of livestock.'' Interstate commerce is defined in the Act as 
``trade, traffic, or commerce between a place in a State and a place in 
another State.'' The question of when or where that trade or traffic 
begins is subject to interpretation, and it is possible that some 
intrastate livestock movements may be regulated under the authority of 
the Act. Regulating the intrastate movement of livestock, however, 
would be contrary to the Secretary's vision, laid out on February 5, 
2010, for the animal disease traceability system. The Secretary's 
approach, which called for the establishment of minimum uniform 
national traceability standards, was nevertheless intended to be 
sufficiently flexible to allow State and Tribal animal health officials 
to implement, with the cooperation of industry, the traceability 
systems that worked best for them; it was not intended to be a top-down 
system under Federal control. Additionally, it was not the intent 
behind the proposed rule to provide for a full-scale farm-to-plate 
traceability system, which would be beyond the scope of our statutory 
authority. Regarding the comments on the need for greater 
standardization, as we have noted, the proposed rule did provide for a 
uniform set of minimum national standards for States and Tribes to 
follow. This rulemaking allows States and tribes to adapt their 
individual traceability systems to meet local needs, but those systems 
will need to comply with these traceability regulations and will need 
to satisfy the traceability performance standards that will be set 
forth in future rulemaking.
    Many commenters expressed concern about the possible impact on 
small producers of the proposed regulations, suggesting that the 
traceability requirements could be more burdensome to small entities 
than to large ones. It was recommended by some commenters that we 
exempt small producers. Specific recommendations included exempting 
producers with less than 300 or 500 mature livestock and producers who 
are sole proprietors of their operations.
    We note that the size of the herd or flock is not the only factor 
contributing to the risk of the spread of animal diseases. Much more 
important is the degree to which the animals are moved interstate and 
commingled with other animals. Herds with no movement across State 
lines are exempt from these traceability requirements, regardless of 
the size of the operation, though the States and Tribes may have their 
own requirements. Additionally, we do exempt certain interstate 
movements where the risk of disease spread is minimal or where tracing 
such animals is easily achieved without additional requirements, e.g., 
movement of livestock to a custom slaughter facility.
    A commenter recommended that we exempt registered heritage 
livestock from the proposed traceability requirements. The commenter 
stated that there already are adequate identification standards in 
place for such animals.
    We agree in part with this comment. Specifically, we do agree that 
the identification provided by purebred registries may be adequate for 
disease traceability of heritage livestock. Nothing in these 
regulations would preclude the use of means of identification commonly 
employed on such animals. Our definition of official identification 
device or method is broad enough to allow for the use of tattoos and 
identification methods acceptable to a breed association for 
registration purposes when accompanied by a breed registration 
certificate, provided that those methods are determined to be official 
by the receiving State or Tribal animal health authorities. We do not 
believe, however, that heritage livestock moving interstate should be 
categorically exempt from all Federal identification and movement 
documentation requirements.
    A commenter recommended that we exempt horses from the proposed 
traceability regulations and stated that interstate movements of 
equines should not have to be reported. According to the commenter, an 
adequate traceability and notification system, which includes brand 
inspections, certificates of veterinary inspection, and permits, 
already exists for equines, rendering additional Federal requirements 
unnecessary.
    We do not agree that horses or other equines should be 
categorically exempt from traceability requirements; however, we 
believe that most horse owners are already in compliance with these 
provisions and need take no further action. A considerable amount of 
time in the last few years has been related to equine diseases, e.g., 
contagious equine metritis, equine herpes virus, equine infectious 
anemia, and equine piroplasmosis. Additionally, we do not view our 
traceability requirements as excessively onerous for equine owners, 
since, under these regulations, methods of identification and movement 
documentation that are already employed in the equine industry, e.g., 
written descriptions, digital photographs, and electronic 
identification methods, and are approved by State and Tribal animal 
health officials will be recognized as official.
    It was recommended by commenters that APHIS recognize existing 
export verification programs as satisfying the requirements of the 
proposed rule and that livestock in such programs should not be subject 
to the animal traceability requirements.
    While APHIS does support the use of official animal identification 
methods for various programs, including age and source verification 
programs used for export purposes, not all systems that verify age, 
source, or management processes for marketing animal products are 
necessarily designed to address the needs of animal disease 
traceability. Official identification methods used in these programs 
now can be used on animals moving interstate under these regulations if 
those methods meet our requirements for officially identifying such 
animals. Options to ensure that export verification programs cover 
disease traceability requirements more uniformly in the future will be 
developed in collaboration between APHIS and the USDA's Agricultural 
Marketing Service (AMS). States and Tribes currently have the 
flexibility under these traceability regulations to accept the 
identification and documentation such programs provide in lieu of 
official identification and ICVIs for animals moving into their 
jurisdictions.
    Our overall justification for the proposed regulations was 
questioned by some commenters. It was stated that we did not explain or 
document how the

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proposed rule would correct problems that have occurred in previous 
traceback investigations. It was further stated that the lack of 
identification on individual animals was not the sole source of our 
problems in conducting tuberculosis traceback investigations in the 
past.
    The Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) accompanying the proposed rule 
provided several actual scenarios where the lack of traceability 
resulted in significant costs to producers and the public in general. 
We agree that the lack of identification on individual animals is not 
the only issue related to tuberculosis traceback investigations, but it 
is an ongoing and significant issue. There is general consensus among 
animal health officials that insufficient traceability has helped to 
prevent the successful completion of the tuberculosis eradication 
program, which began in 1917.
    A commenter representing a Tribal Government, while generally 
supportive of the proposed rule, cautioned that the proposed 
regulations should not contain language diminishing or implying a 
waiver of Tribal sovereignty. Tribal lands have defined borders that 
cannot be bisected by State borders.
    We agree with this comment, but on further review, we were unable 
to identify any language in the proposed rule implying a waiver of 
Tribal sovereignty, nor did the commenter cite any specific problem 
areas. Therefore, we are not making any changes to the final rule in 
response to this comment.

Definitions

    In the August 2011 proposed rule, definitions were contained in 
Sec.  90.1; in this final rule, they are contained in Sec.  86.1.
    The August 2011 proposed rule included a new definition of animal 
identification number (AIN) that was similar to the one being used 
elsewhere in the regulations at the time, albeit with one important 
difference. The proposed definition stated that the AIN consists of 15 
digits, with the first 3 being the country code (840 for the United 
States), except that the alpha characters USA or the numeric code 
assigned to the manufacturer of the identification device by the 
International Committee on Animal Recording may be used as alternatives 
to the 840 prefix until 1 year after the effective date of the final 
rule for this proposal. Existing definitions of animal identification 
number (AIN) in the regulations contained the same formatting 
requirements but did not specify a sunset date for the use of AINs 
beginning with the characters USA or the manufacturer's code. We 
proposed to phase out those two AIN formats in order to achieve greater 
standardization of this numbering system, while providing producers 
with adequate notice of the change to enable them to work through 
existing inventories of eartags.
    Some commenters suggested that phasing out AINs with manufacturers' 
codes would economically harm many producers and that we should instead 
continue to recognize such AINs as official under certain 
circumstances. Specifically, it was suggested that manufacturer-coded 
AIN tags should be recognized as official if the cattle bearing them 
have been enrolled in a process verified program (PVP) or a Quality 
System Assessment (QSA) program recognized by the AMS; if producers 
provide listings of the AINs to their State or Tribal animal health 
official; or if a system were developed whereby private organizations 
or marketing entities, in cooperation with State and Tribal animal 
health officials, could coordinate the application, recording, and/or 
management of the manufacturer-coded AIN tags.
    APHIS does support the use of official identification devices for 
management and marketing purposes and is sensitive to the concerns 
about additional cost if such systems are not compatible with our 
traceability regulations. While the commenters did not specifically 
state what additional cost would result from the transition to 840 
AINs, as provided for in the proposed rule, we have evaluated factors 
that could potentially increase costs. Low frequency radio frequency 
identification (RFID) AIN tags are based on ISO 11784 and 11785; thus, 
the manufacturing of tags in regards to technology would be unchanged. 
Likewise, electronic reading infrastructure currently in place would 
not need to be replaced. We acknowledge that retagging animals that 
already have been tagged with AIN tags using manufacturers' codes would 
increase costs to producers. The phasing out of such tags over time was 
intended to allow producers to avoid the need to retag animals. AIN 
tags with manufacturers' codes that are applied to animals before the 
840 requirement becomes effective will be recognized as official for 
the remainder of the animal's life. Cattle enrolled in PVP and QSA 
programs are primarily feeder cattle, and these animals will be exempt 
from official identification requirements under this rulemaking; 
therefore, the need for producers of such cattle to transition to 840 
AINs and possibly incur additional costs is further minimized. Future 
official identification options for feeder cattle, including options 
used in PVP and QSA programs, can be evaluated prior to initiating 
rulemaking to subject feeder cattle to the official identification 
requirements.
    We do recognize that some producers may have larger inventories of 
manufacturer-coded tags that may not be used by the date previously 
proposed for the phase-out to be completed. To address the possible 
economic burden on these producers resulting from the transition, we 
are amending the definition of animal identification number (AIN) in 
this final rule to extend by 12 additional months the phase-out period 
for manufacturer-coded AINs. The amended definition states that the 
provision under which the 840 AIN will be the only one recognized as 
official will become effective on March 11, 2015. Tamper-evident AIN 
tags with a manufacturer code or USA prefix that are applied to animals 
before that date will be recognized as official identification for the 
life of the animals. In that the date of tagging cannot always be known 
or documented, we will continue to be flexible through the transition 
period, realizing that breeding animals with manufacturer-coded tags 
may be in the population for several years.
    APHIS does not oppose the other options suggested by the commenters 
of having producers provide listings of the manufacturer-coded AINs to 
their State or Tribal animal health official or having private 
organizations or marketing entities, in cooperation with State and 
Tribal animal health officials, coordinate the application, recording, 
and/or management of the manufacturer-coded AIN tags. These 
alternatives are best implemented at the local level between the State 
and Tribal animal health officials and the producers in their area. If 
the shipping State continues to allow the use of manufacturer-coded AIN 
tags after APHIS no longer recognizes them as official, the receiving 
State can refuse shipments of animals identified with such tags.
    We are also making a change to the AIN definition in this final 
rule based on another comment we received. A comment from an 
association representing Puerto Rican cattle producers noted that 
Puerto Rico has a unique country code under ISO (PR, PRI, or 630). The 
commenter requested that we amend the definition of AIN in the final 
rule to allow producers in Puerto Rico to use the 630 code on RFID 
tags. We support this recommendation and are amending the definition of 
the AIN in this final rule to allow Puerto Rico and other U.S. 
territories to use their country codes instead of the 840

[[Page 2044]]

code issued to the United States. However, the territories may continue 
to use 840 AIN tags if they prefer. We are also updating the Animal 
Disease Traceability General Standards document to reference these 
country codes.
    Finally, we are making a minor change to the wording of the 
requirement, contained in the proposed definition of the AIN, that 840 
AIN tags be used only on animals born in the United States. The amended 
provision states that 840 AIN tags may not be applied to animals known 
to have been born in another country. This change reflects our view 
that we cannot reasonably expect that the person responsible for 
tagging an animal, or having it tagged, will, in every instance, 
possess documentation that verifies a U.S. birth location for the 
animal. In many cases, our import requirements for live animals in 9 
CFR part 93 lessen the need for such documentation. For example, the 
overwhelming majority of cattle imported into the United States come 
from Canada or Mexico and are required to have a brand denoting their 
country of origin. This requirement ensures that almost all cattle of 
non-U.S. origin, i.e., cattle ineligible for identification with 840 
AIN tags, are clearly identified as such.
    Some commenters suggested that we should expand the proposed 
definition of approved tagging site to include any location in the 
receiving State where tagging can be completed prior to commingling, as 
verified by the State animal health official.
    The definition contained in the August 2011 proposed rule provides 
for locations to become tagging sites when authorized by APHIS, State, 
or Tribal animal health officials. It is important that such locations 
are approved by animal health officials to ensure that the exemption 
from official identification requirements at time of movement 
interstate to an approved tagging site is properly administered. While 
livestock markets are frequently referenced as being potential approved 
tagging sites, other locations, such as feedlots, could become approved 
tagging sites under our definition. Therefore, it is not necessary to 
make any changes to the definition of approved tagging site in this 
final rule for the commenters' suggestion to be adopted.
    In the August 2011 proposed rule, we defined commuter herd as a 
herd of cattle or bison moved interstate during the course of normal 
livestock management operations and without change of ownership 
directly between two premises, as provided in a commuter herd 
agreement. Under the proposed rule, cattle or bison moving interstate 
as part of a commuter herd were to be exempted from both official 
identification and ICVI requirements.
    One commenter recommended that we amend the definition so that 
shipments of feeder cattle that are infrequently consigned or leased as 
rodeo stock could be moved interstate as commuter herds. The commenter 
stated that the commuter herd exemptions could be justified for such 
feeder cattle because they are not associated with the same level of 
disease risk as are cattle regularly used for rodeos or exhibitions.
    We do not agree with this comment. Cattle that move interstate, 
commingle with animals from other locations, and then return to the 
original location pose a risk for disease transmission. We recently 
experienced an outbreak of a disease of horses that was disseminated 
from a regional rodeo to several States. Cattle diseases can also be 
spread in a similar manner.
    Some commenters viewed our proposed definition of dairy cattle (all 
cattle, regardless of age or sex or current use, that are of a breed(s) 
typically used to produce milk or other dairy products for human 
consumption) as vague and overly broad, stating that they thought it 
would create significant problems for small-scale and diversified dairy 
operations. In particular, commenters stated that the definition lacked 
clarity regarding dual-purpose breeds, potentially creating confusion 
about which cattle are subject to the more stringent dairy cattle 
requirements.
    After considering these comments, we determined that greater 
precision in the definition of dairy cattle would be desirable. In this 
final rule, therefore, we are adding to the definition of dairy cattle 
a list of some common dairy breeds to serve as examples. Specifically, 
we define dairy cattle as all cattle, regardless of age or sex or 
current use, that are of a breed(s) used to produce milk or other dairy 
products for human consumption, including, but not limited to, 
Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn, 
and Red and Whites. The list of representative dairy breeds we are 
incorporating into this definition comes from the Purebred Dairy Cattle 
Association. As noted in the definition, however, the category of dairy 
cattle is not limited to the listed breeds. While we believe that this 
new definition of dairy cattle is clearer than the original one we 
proposed, State, Tribal, or Federal animal health officials may still 
be called upon at times to exercise their judgments as to whether the 
cattle in a shipment are indeed dairy cattle, taking into account such 
factors as the intended use of the animals.
    It was also suggested that we should amend the definition of dairy 
cattle to exclude dairy steers and spayed heifers, as such animals will 
not be in the U.S. herd for an extended period and therefore do not 
pose a major disease risk.
    We disagree with this comment. Dairy steers and spayed heifers are 
part of an industry that has been identified as posing a high risk for 
disease transmission. Many dairy heifers and bull calves are moved from 
the dairy to calf-raising facilities, while some calves, mostly bull 
calves, are marketed privately or through livestock markets. This 
degree of movement and commingling at young ages and as yearlings makes 
them ``animals of interest'' regardless of whether they become herd 
replacements or feeder cattle. Furthermore, dairy steers typically are 
in feeding channels longer than beef cattle due to the length of time 
required for the former to reach finishing weight. Dairy steers and 
heifers may also undergo more changes of ownership and movements where 
commingling occurs than beef calves that typically stay with their dams 
until they are weaned.
    Some commenters took issue with our proposed definition of directly 
as ``without unloading en route if moved in a means of conveyance and 
without being commingled with other animals, or without stopping, 
except for stops of less than 24 hours that are needed for food, water, 
or rest en route if the animals are moved in any other manner.'' A 
commenter representing the pork industry stated that while these 
restrictions were acceptable for swine moving for other purposes, swine 
considered to be in slaughter market channels should be exempted. 
Another commenter, noting that the proposed definition did not allow 
the animals to be unloaded from a conveyance even if they aren't 
commingled, recommended modifying the definition to address ``the real 
risk factor'' of commingling.
    After reviewing these comments, we have decided to revise the 
definition of directly in this final rule to clarify that it will allow 
for necessary stops while addressing the risk factor of commingling. We 
are defining directly as ``moved in a means of conveyance, without 
stopping to unload while en route, except for stops of less than 24 
hours to feed, water, or rest the animals being moved, and with no 
commingling of animals at such stops.''
    A commenter representing an egg producers' association stated that 
we should clarify the definition of group/lot

[[Page 2045]]

identification number (GIN) to allow for its use on poultry managed 
together as a group throughout the production system even if initial 
placement of birds may occur over a more extended period than a single 
day. The proposed definition stated that a GIN may be applied to a 
group of animals managed together as one group throughout the 
preharvest production chain. The commenter stated that the proposed 
definition could be interpreted to mean that a group of birds must be 
assembled in one day in order to be eligible for official 
identification by means of a GIN. The commenter viewed such a 
requirement as being problematic for the commercial egg industry 
because it is a common practice at commercial egg farms to place hens 
in a laying house over a period of days.
    The GIN formatting requirements contained in the Animal Disease 
Traceability General Standards document do lend some support to the 
commenter's concerns over the proposed definition. Those formatting 
standards specify that the GIN must include a six-digit representation 
of the date on which the group or lot was assembled (MM/DD/YY).
    We agree with the commenter on the need to recognize current 
practices in the commercial egg industry. While we do not judge it to 
be necessary to amend the definition of group/lot identification number 
(GIN) in the regulations, we are amending the GIN formatting standards 
in the Animal Disease Traceability General Standards document to 
specify that the six-digit date component of the GIN may represent 
either the date on which the group or lot of animals was assembled or 
the date when the assembly of the group was initiated.
    Another commenter suggested that we modify the definition of group/
lot identification number (GIN) as it applies to cattle to recognize 
that a GIN may be effectively used for some classes of livestock that 
may move from one location to another but are not managed as a group 
throughout the production system.
    We do not agree with this comment. The GIN is intended to provide a 
method of livestock identification that is cost effective without 
sacrificing traceability. Due to the current gaps in animal disease 
traceability in the cattle sector, allowing the formation of marketing 
``groups'' using a GIN, meaning that a GIN could, for example, be used 
when a group of animals is moved from or assembled at one premises but 
then split and/or commingled in subsequent movements, would be unwise 
from an epidemiological perspective.
    In the August 2011 proposed rule, we defined interstate certificate 
of veterinary inspection (ICVI) as an official document issued by a 
Federal, State, Tribal, or accredited veterinarian at the location from 
which animals are shipped interstate. The proposed definition also 
listed information requirements for the ICVI. A commenter representing 
a pork industry association expressed concern that the proposed 
definition could be misconstrued to require the ICVI to be physically 
issued by the veterinarian at the shipping location. The commenter 
stated that it is common in the industry for livestock to be inspected 
at veterinary offices and an ICVI issued while the animals are in 
transport from origin to destination, a practice that provides a 
savings to the producer by supporting timely movement and clear 
identification of animals involved in interstate transportation.
    The proposed definition of the ICVI did not prohibit the issuance 
of an ICVI at a veterinary clinic. The interstate movement could very 
well begin at a veterinary clinic, with prior movements to the clinic 
considered to be ``intrastate'' and not covered by these regulations. 
In order to clarify that ICVIs may be issued at veterinary clinics, 
however, as well as the premises at which they originated and other 
locations, we are amending the definition of interstate certificate of 
veterinary inspection (ICVI) in this final rule. The amended definition 
states that the ICVI is an official document issued by a Federal, 
State, Tribal, or accredited veterinarian certifying the inspection of 
animals in preparation for interstate movement.
    A commenter stated that our definition of livestock as ``all farm-
raised animals'' is vague and open to problems of interpretation. It 
was stated that, rather than tying our definition to a farm, we should 
define livestock by species.
    As we noted in the preamble to the August 2011 proposed rule, our 
definition of livestock was incorporated directly from the Animal 
Health Protection Act. As we also noted then, the definition is a broad 
one covering species that are not included in this rulemaking but that 
could be commingled at venues, such as approved livestock facilities, 
with those species that are. Along with the definition of livestock, we 
included in the proposed rule a separate definition of covered 
livestock that listed the species subject to the requirements of the 
proposed new CFR traceability part. We included the latter definition 
in the proposed rule to remove any possible ambiguity regarding which 
species were covered under the rulemaking. Therefore, we are not making 
any changes to the final rule in response to this comment.
    In the August 2011 proposed rule, we defined official eartag as an 
identification tag approved by APHIS that bears an official 
identification number for individual animals. The proposed definition 
further stated that beginning 1 year after the effective date of the 
final rule, all official eartags applied to animals would have to bear 
the U.S. shield. Previously, the definition of official eartag used 
elsewhere in the regulations, e.g., in Sec.  71.1, required that the 
U.S. shield be used only on official eartags bearing an 840 AIN. We 
proposed to broaden the U.S. shield requirement to all official eartags 
in order to achieve greater standardization of this type of official 
identification device.
    Some commenters objected to the proposed U.S. shield requirement 
for all official eartags. It was stated that the proposed requirement 
effectively mandated that private property be identified with a U.S. 
shield. Some commenters recommended that we allow official eartags to 
bear a State seal rather than the U.S. shield or that we allow States 
and Tribes to issue their own official identification tags without the 
U.S. shield, as long as combining the tag number and State identifier 
resulted in a unique number. It was claimed that a State code on an 
eartag actually provides the most important information enabling 
traceback.
    After considering these comments, we have decided to amend the 
definition of official eartag in this final rule in a way that will 
allow the imprinting of a State postal abbreviation or Tribal alpha 
code within the shield in lieu of ``US.'' Instead of a U.S. shield, 
official eartags will have to bear an official eartag shield. This 
final rule includes a new definition of official eartag shield in Sec.  
86.1, as well as in Sec. Sec.  71.1, 77.2, and 78.1. We define official 
eartag shield as the shield-shaped graphic of the U.S. Route Shield, 
with ``US'' or the State postal abbreviation or a Tribal alpha code 
imprinted within the shield. The alpha codes for Tribes, published in 
the Animal Disease Traceability General Standards document, may be used 
by Tribes that administer their own traceability systems. The States or 
Tribes will have the discretion to request that their postal 
abbreviations or alpha codes be imprinted on tags they obtain from 
approved manufacturers. Additionally, to ease the transition for 
producers, the revised definition will state that beginning on March 
11, 2013,

[[Page 2046]]

all official eartags manufactured will have to bear the official eartag 
shield, but all official eartags applied to animals will not have to 
bear that official eartag shield until March 11, 2015.
    We believe that these changes are responsive to the issues raised 
by the commenters, while still achieving greater standardization of 
official eartags without lessening traceability or increasing costs.
    A commenter representing a cattle producers' association favored 
altering the proposed definition of official identification device or 
method, which stated that such devices or methods were means of 
applying an official identification number to an animal or group of 
animals or otherwise officially identifying an animal or group of 
animals. The commenter wanted the definition to be broadened so that it 
would not preclude the use of other, non-numerical means of 
identification, such as brands.
    The proposed definition allowed for the use of brands or tattoos or 
other methods in lieu of official identification devices when agreed to 
by the States or Tribes involved in the movement. Nevertheless, as 
discussed in greater detail below, we are making changes in this final 
rule to recognize brands, tattoos, and other methods as means of 
official identification for cattle and bison.
    The same commenter also suggested that we add a definition to the 
final rule of official identification as ``any means of identification 
agreed upon by animal health officials in the shipping and receiving 
States or Tribes.'' Other commenters took a similar view, though they 
did not recommend adding that specific definition.
    It is our view that recognizing any identification method agreed to 
by the shipping and receiving States or Tribes as official would expand 
the range of identification methods that would be so recognized to an 
unacceptable degree, thereby hindering traceability. However, in 
keeping with our goal of having a flexible traceability system, we will 
allow for the use of other options deemed adequate at the local level 
by retaining in this final rule the provision that the shipping and 
receiving States or Tribes may agree to accept any other form of 
identification in lieu of official identification.
    We are making a change to the definition of recognized slaughtering 
establishment in 9 CFR parts 77, 78, and 86 of this final rule. In the 
proposed rule, recognized slaughtering establishment was defined as any 
slaughtering facility operating under the Federal Meat Inspection Act 
(21 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 
451 et seq.), or State meat or poultry inspection acts. Under the 
existing regulations in 9 CFR 71.21, slaughtering establishments may 
receive animals moved in interstate commerce only if they have been 
approved for that purpose by the Administrator. The amended definition 
of recognized slaughtering establishment in this final rule states 
that, in addition to meeting the requirements listed above, the 
establishment must be approved in accordance with Sec.  71.21.
    Finally, while we are issuing a revised version of the Animal 
Disease Traceability Standards document concurrently with this final 
rule, we are removing the definition of that document from the 
definitions section because it is not used elsewhere in the regulatory 
text.

Recordkeeping Requirements

    Recordkeeping requirements, which were contained in Sec.  90.3 of 
the August 2011 proposed rule, are contained in Sec.  86.3 of this 
final rule.
    Many commenters expressed the view that the requirements in the 
proposed rule for maintaining official identification device 
distribution records and interstate movement records would be 
burdensome for veterinarians, sale barns, livestock markets and/or 
small producers. Under the proposed rule, any State, Tribe, accredited 
veterinarian, or other person or entity who distributes official 
identification devices was required to maintain for 5 years a record of 
the names and addresses of anyone to whom the devices were distributed. 
Approved livestock facilities were required to keep for at least 5 
years any ICVIs or alternate documentation that is required under the 
regulations for the interstate movement of any covered livestock 
entering the facility. It was stated that the proposed requirements 
were excessive for traceability needs in the poultry industry, since 
most broilers are slaughtered by about 8 weeks of age. A commenter 
representing a poultry association recommended that the requirement be 
for 2 years for poultry. The 5-year requirement was also deemed by some 
commenters to be excessive for feeder cattle, given their relatively 
short life spans. It was also suggested that the requirement should be 
2 years for swine.
    We agree with the commenters who stated that the requirements for 
maintaining movement records should reflect animal life cycles and 
industry practices. The lifespans of poultry and swine are relatively 
short compared with those of other species of covered livestock. We are 
therefore reducing the requirement for maintaining movement records to 
2 years for poultry and swine.
    In this final rule, however, we are retaining the 5-year 
requirement for the maintenance of official identification device 
distribution records. This requirement is warranted, as many of the 
species typically identified with eartags are those with the longer 
lifespans, with the exception of swine. Also, many official eartag 
distribution records do not include a species indicator; thus, having 
tag distribution records maintained specifically by species would often 
not be practical. Increasingly, these records will be maintained in 
electronic information systems, rather than on paper, making the 
recordkeeping requirement less burdensome.
    It was also stated that the records that would be required under 
the proposed rule are maintained by States already, making our proposed 
requirements duplicative and burdening States unnecessarily.
    Many States and Tribes do already have recordkeeping requirements 
at the local level. For States and Tribes with requirements that meet 
or exceed those included in this rule, there would be no additional 
burden. For States and Tribes that do not meet the minimum 
requirements, additional administrative processes may be needed or new 
rules may need to be promulgated at the State or Tribal level. States 
and Tribes receive Federal assistance through cooperative agreements 
for data processing and recordkeeping for animal disease traceability, 
lessening their financial burdens. We have the endorsement of the 
United States Animal Health Association, which has representation from 
all State animal health officials, for our recordkeeping requirements 
and for this rulemaking overall.
    Contrary to the sentiments voiced by many of the commenters, a few 
questioned whether a 5-year recordkeeping requirement was adequate, 
given the long incubation period of such animal diseases as bovine 
spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). One commenter stated that movement 
records should be kept for the entire life span of an individual 
animal.
    We will not be making any changes to this final rule as a result of 
these comments. As States and Tribes convert from paper-based to 
electronic recordkeeping systems, the length of time that records need 
to be stored becomes less of an issue. We believe, in fact, that those 
electronic records will be

[[Page 2047]]

maintained well beyond the minimum requirements. At the present time, 
we believe that the requirements we include in this rulemaking achieve 
a good balance between what is needed and what is cost effective to 
achieve.

Official Identification Requirements

    Official identification requirements for covered livestock, which 
were contained in Sec.  90.4 of the August 2011 proposed rule, are 
contained in Sec.  86.4 of this final rule.
Cattle and Bison
    The August 2011 proposed rule included a schedule for the phasing 
in of official identification requirements for cattle and bison. We 
proposed that, beginning on the effective date of this final rule, the 
requirements would cover all sexually intact cattle and bison aged 18 
months and over; dairy cattle of any age; and cattle and bison of any 
age used for rodeos, recreational events, shows, or exhibitions. We 
deemed it essential to apply the official identification requirements 
immediately to those categories because they tend to live longer than 
feeder cattle, move around more, and have more opportunities for 
commingling, thus presenting a great risk of spreading disease via 
interstate movement. We further proposed to initiate a second 
implementation phase, in which we would extend the requirements to 
cover all other classes of cattle and bison, including feeders, after 
conducting an assessment and determining that the requirements were 
being implemented effectively throughout the production chain for the 
cattle and bison covered under the initial phase.
    Many commenters objected to our plans to include feeder cattle 
(cattle under 18 months of age) in the second phase of our 
implementation of these traceability regulations. It was stated that it 
was unnecessary to include feeder cattle because most of them are 
destined for slaughter before the age of 2 years and hence do not pose 
much risk of spreading disease. Other commenters stated that the sheer 
number of animals that will be required to be identified and tracked 
under these regulations will make including feeder cattle very costly 
for producers, veterinarians, sale barns, and State agencies and that 
the volume of information that will need to be generated may swamp the 
whole system, for no significant benefit. The eartagging requirement 
for feeder cattle was viewed by some commenters as particularly 
burdensome for producers and others, and it was stated that identifying 
feeder cattle will not help in disease control.
    We view the inclusion of feeder cattle in the traceability 
regulations as an essential component of an effective traceability 
system in the long term. Typical cattle management systems do not 
isolate feeder cattle from exposure to diseases. The epidemiological 
factors that support a complete, overarching traceability system in the 
United States require that all ages and classes of cattle be included 
in the animal disease traceability framework.
    Many other commenters, including several representing cattle 
producers' organizations, recognized the necessity of adding feeder 
cattle to the traceability system but stated that such cattle should be 
added in a separate rulemaking for maximum transparency. Some of these 
commenters stated that they could not support the proposed rule as 
written if feeder cattle were not added in a separate rulemaking rather 
than under the notice-based process that we proposed.
    After reviewing these comments, we have concluded that the 
inclusion of feeder cattle within the traceability framework can best 
be achieved through a separate future rulemaking, as the commenters 
recommended.
    As noted above, we indicated in the August 2011 proposed rule that 
we would apply the official identification requirements to feeder 
cattle only after conducting an assessment and determining that the 
requirements were being implemented effectively throughout the 
production chain for those classes of cattle and bison covered under 
the initial implementation phase. Many industry commenters offered 
suggestions for an alternative assessment model to the one we described 
in the proposed rule. While feeder cattle will be subject to the 
official identification requirements in a future rulemaking rather than 
the current one, APHIS still recognizes the merits of conducting such 
an assessment as that future rulemaking is being considered. APHIS 
plans to consult closely with representatives from States, Tribes, and 
industry, including individuals from stocker/feeder sectors most 
affected by applying the official identification requirements to feeder 
cattle and most knowledgeable about the practical issues and concerns 
that can arise as a result.
    One commenter expressed the concern that by requiring individual 
identification for sexually intact cattle over 18 months in the current 
rulemaking, we will inadvertently be including feeder heifers that were 
never intended to go into a breeding herd but that are being shipped to 
feedlots out of State.
    When this final rule becomes effective, sexually intact beef 
heifers less than 18 months of age will be exempt from the official 
identification requirements, thus avoiding potential conflicts in 
determining if the animal is in feeder channels or being used for 
breeding purposes.
    Some commenters, including the one who wrote to express concerns 
about including feeder heifers in this rulemaking, advocated increasing 
the age for the category of feeder cattle. It was stated that the 
identification requirements should apply to sexually intact cattle 24 
months and older rather than 18 months and older. Another commenter 
from the same State indicated that 24 months would better represent the 
age of feeder cattle in that State, as under common operating 
conditions, calves after weaning may remain on pasture or grass until 2 
years of age before being sold as feeder cattle.
    We recognize the management and marketing challenges the 18-month 
age limit may cause, but emphasize the importance of retaining it based 
on the need to identify cattle and bison for disease control purposes. 
The 18-month age threshold has been used successfully in the 
brucellosis eradication program to define test-eligible cattle. Age, 
when not documented, can more accurately be determined for cattle at 18 
months of age, as they would have lost their first pair of temporary 
incisors, than it can at 24 months. The need to officially identify 
this class and age category is further demonstrated when we note that 
since 1995, the number of heifers vaccinated for brucellosis has 
declined by approximately 50 percent, and the trend continues. Today, 
fewer than 20 percent of heifers are vaccinated for brucellosis. This 
low level of official identification is concerning, in particular for a 
class of animals of which many will be part of the breeding herd. For 
those heifers that were vaccinated for brucellosis, the official eartag 
applied to meet the identification requirements for vaccinates would 
meet the need for official identification required by this rule. We 
have noted several times that the States and Tribes have the option to 
recognize alternative forms of identification when both the shipping 
and receiving animal health officials agree. This flexibility allows 
unique and/or regional issues to be considered at the local level. In 
the scenario provided by the commenters, we believe that the 
alternatives to the official identification requirement for interstate 
movement of feeder heifers

[[Page 2048]]

over 18 months of age to feedlots can best be administered by the 
shipping and receiving State and Tribe. Exempting all heifers over 18 
months of age would hinder traceability nationwide; thus, in these 
regulations, we are maintaining the 18-month age cut-off for the 
official identification requirement. Under these regulations, however, 
calves that remain after weaning on pasture or grass until 2 years of 
age before being sold as feeder cattle will not have to be officially 
identified before 24 months because they are not moving interstate 
until then.
Use of Brands as Official Identification for Cattle
    One aspect of the August 2011 proposed rule that generated many 
comments was our decision to recognize only official eartags as a means 
of officially identifying individual cattle. Many commenters expressed 
the view that brands should continue to be recognized as an official 
method of identification for cattle and bison when the shipping and 
receiving States and Tribes agreed. Many of these commenters also 
maintained that we should continue to recognize tattoos as official. 
Commenters pointed out that brands have worked effectively in brand 
States for many years and that they provide a permanent method of 
identification, whereas eartags can be removed or lost. It was further 
stated by one commenter that electronic brand inspection certificates 
are a great aid to traceability, as they can provide traceback to the 
premises of origin for individual animals in less than 30 minutes. It 
was also claimed that the delisting of brands as a means of official 
identification would strip from States and Tribes the option of 
continuing to rely upon the brand accompanied by a brand certificate. A 
commenter further claimed that removing brands from the regulations as 
a means of official identification for cattle would discriminate 
against producers in States that require brand inspection as a 
condition of leaving a brand inspection area because such producers 
would have to pay for both the brand inspection and for other 
identification as well, as required by the proposed rule.
    APHIS recognizes that brands and brand-certificate information can 
provide timely information that may enhance disease traceback 
investigations. The original intent of the proposed official 
identification requirements was to define as official identification 
devices and methods those that could easily be administered by all 
States and Tribes, since all States and Tribes would be required to 
accept all official identification devices and methods listed in the 
regulations for each species. As we noted in the preamble to the 
proposed rule, we did not view brands as suitable for listing as a 
means of official identification for cattle because 36 States currently 
do not have brand inspection authorities. The option for States and 
Tribes to accept other identification methods, such as brands, in lieu 
of official identification was provided for in the proposed rule.
    Some commenters provided recommendations for alternative text that 
would maintain the initial intent of the proposed requirements, while 
achieving the recognition of brands as an official identification 
method under specific conditions. Several commenters suggested that 
brands be accepted as official identification via bilateral or 
multilateral agreements or memorandum(s) of understanding between or 
among agreeing shipping and receiving States or Tribes.
    APHIS appreciates and supports the suggested text revisions, and in 
this final rule, we are modifying Sec.  86.4(a)(1) to add to the list 
of official identification devices and methods for cattle brands 
registered with a recognized brand inspection authority and accompanied 
by an official brand inspection certificate if the shipping and 
receiving State or Tribal animal health authorities agree to recognize 
them as such. We are also amending the paragraph to recognize as 
official identification tattoos and other identification methods 
acceptable to a breed association for registration purposes, provided 
that the animals are accompanied by a breed registration certificate 
and that the shipping and receiving States or Tribes agree to recognize 
them as such.
    Some commenters cited as a concern the possible effects of the 
proposed official identification requirements for cattle on our import 
requirements. A commenter stated that in the in an earlier rulemaking 
(70 FR 459-553, Docket No. 03-080-3) in which we established 
requirements for the importation of animals and animal products from 
minimal-risk regions for BSE, we cited brands as a permanent form of 
identification and acknowledged that eartags may be lost. Under that 
rulemaking, imported bovines had to be identified with both brands and 
eartags. Another commenter stated that since cattle imported from 
Canada and Mexico are currently required to have a hot-iron brand, if 
we were to stop recognizing hot-iron brands as official identification 
for domestic cattle, those nations could claim that the United States 
is imposing a higher standard on their producers than on domestic 
producers. The commenter stated that we may not be able to keep the 
branding requirement in effect for imported cattle.
    This rulemaking does not affect our import/export requirements. 
While brands may be used as official identification for cattle moving 
interstate in accordance with the provisions of this final rule, the 
branding of imported cattle from Canada and Mexico is not intended to 
provide official individual identification, but is rather a permanent 
mark used to designate the country that exported the animal.
    One commenter stated that brands, accompanied by a certificate from 
a recognized brand inspection authority, should be allowed as a group/
lot identifier. It was claimed that brands are more effective than any 
other means of group/lot identification provided for in the proposed 
rule and are the only means that would enable a traceback of a group/
lot that inadvertently becomes separated from a herd and for which the 
paperwork is lost or destroyed.
    The GIN provides a uniform standard for identifying groups of 
animals that are managed together throughout the preharvest production 
chain. In such a situation, the group is identified in its entirety as 
it moves from location to location with the GIN. The Animal Disease 
Traceability General Standards document provides the format 
specifications for the GIN. This standard number format is needed to 
establish and maintain compatibility of information systems.
    Animals that are not maintained with the group will need to be 
identified with an official eartag or as otherwise agreed to by the 
animal health officials of the shipping and receiving State or Tribe. 
The revised definition of official identification device or method 
recognizes brand certificates as official when agreed to by the 
shipping and receiving State and Tribe. While we will be maintaining 
the numbering format specification for the GIN, States and Tribes have 
the option to accept other methods of identification, including those 
of groups of animals.
    Finally, in contrast to the general trend of the comments on 
branding, one commenter supported the delisting of brands as a means of 
individual identification because of the cost to producers of brand 
inspections and health papers in brand-inspection States.
    We are not making any changes to this final rule in response to 
this comment. Health papers and brand inspection are

[[Page 2049]]

two different activities. States that have elected to administer brand 
inspections have done so for purposes of determining ownership and 
preventing theft. Health papers, such as ICVIs, provide documentation 
that an accredited veterinarian has examined the health of the animals.
Identification of Direct-to-Slaughter Cattle
    Many commenters favored exempting all direct-to-slaughter cattle 
from any identification requirements. It was stated that the risks to 
animals and the personnel that would be tasked with tagging them, along 
with the costs of tagging and reading tags, outweigh the benefits of 
tagging.
    We agree that cattle moving directly to slaughter pose less of a 
disease risk than do other cattle, and we did allow in the August 2011 
proposed rule for the use of backtags in lieu of official 
identification for cattle moving directly to slaughter. We view 
exempting such animals from any identification requirements as a 
hindrance to traceability, however.
    In the August 2011 proposed rule, we indicated that our recognition 
of backtags in lieu of official identification for direct-to-slaughter 
cattle was to be phased out. Many commenters opposed the phase-out of 
backtags for identifying slaughter cattle. It was stated that while 
backtags have a poor reputation when placed improperly and when not 
collected by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) or plant 
personnel at slaughter, when they are properly placed, carefully 
collected, and recorded, backtags are an economically efficient, easily 
readable, and recordable form of identification for slaughter cattle.
    After reviewing these comments, we have decided to amend Sec.  
86.4(b)(1) in this final rule to allow permanently the use of backtags 
in lieu of official identification, albeit with some new stipulations. 
One commenter who supported the proposed phase-out of the use of 
backtags in lieu of official identification for direct-to-slaughter 
animals thought the phase-out appropriate because some slaughter 
establishments put some cattle on feed after they arrive at the plant 
for conditioning purposes. After this extended period of time, the 
backtags are unlikely to be on the animals when the animals are 
harvested. Therefore, we are stipulating that the exemption from the 
requirement for official identification only applies when the animals 
going directly to slaughter are harvested within 3 days of their 
movement to the slaughter plant. This exemption is intended to apply 
only to cattle that are moving directly to a slaughter plant to be 
slaughtered shortly after arrival. We agree with the commenter's 
concern about the practicality of using backtags for slaughter animals 
when the animals are not going to be slaughtered shortly after their 
arrival. We believe that the 3-day timeframe adequately address that 
concern. Cattle moved to slaughter will typically be slaughtered within 
3 days of that movement. If they are not slaughtered within 3 days, the 
movement is not considered to be directly to slaughter, and permanent 
official identification is required to ensure that proper 
identification is maintained until slaughter. If the determination to 
hold animals for more than 3 days is made after the animals arrive at 
the slaughter establishment, the animals must be officially identified 
with an official identification device. Such identification will be 
considered a retagging event in accordance with Sec.  86.4(d)(4)(ii).
    Another commenter stated that backtags used on slaughter cattle can 
sometimes be lost during high-pressure washing prior to slaughter. To 
address this issue, we have amended Sec.  86.4(d)(2) in this final rule 
to account for the cross referencing of all animals, as well as their 
carcasses, with backtags or other identification received by the 
slaughter plant. Requiring the cross-referencing of the devices with 
the live animals, and not just their carcasses, will help to ensure 
that traceback capability is not lost between arrival at the plant and 
slaughter.
Approved Tagging Sites
    In the August 2011 proposed rule, we provided an exemption to the 
requirement that cattle and bison must be officially identified prior 
to interstate movement if the cattle or bison were moved directly to an 
approved tagging site and officially identified prior to commingling 
with cattle and bison from other premises. Some commenters favored 
allowing approved tagging sites to tag cattle moved interstate with a 
back tag prior to commingling, which then could be correlated with the 
official eartag once the cattle are sold and sorted and before further 
movement. It was suggested that such an approach would enable markets 
that become approved tagging sites to better manage the flow of cattle 
in and out of the sites on a sale day, since having to tag cattle and 
bison with an eartag prior to commingling could prevent such facilities 
from operating at the speed of commerce.
    We recognize that applying the official eartag on cattle or bison 
received at approved tagging sites before they are commingled can be 
problematic in some situations. Therefore, this final rule allows the 
use of backtags prior to commingling, as well as other practices that 
will enable approved tagging sites to efficiently manage livestock 
while ensuring that the identity of each animal is accurately 
maintained until tagging so that official eartags may be correlated to 
the person responsible for shipping the animals to the tagging site.
Commuter Herds
    Another exemption from the official identification requirements was 
provided for cattle and bison moving interstate as part of a commuter 
herd with a copy of the commuter herd agreement. It was recommended 
that we also allow the use of other documentation or forms as agreed to 
by the States or Tribes involved in these movements that may not 
specifically be labeled or called commuter herd agreements. We agree 
with this comment, as it is in keeping with our approach to developing 
a traceability system that will allow States and Tribes to use the 
methods that work best for them, and we are amending Sec.  86.4(b)(1) 
accordingly.
Use of Multiple Eartags
    In the August 2011 proposed rule, we prohibited the use of multiple 
official identification devices on a single animal with the following 
exceptions:
     A State or Tribal animal health official or an area 
veterinarian in charge could approve the application of a second 
official identification device in specific cases when the need to 
maintain the identity of an animal is intensified, such as for export 
shipments, quarantined herds, field trials, experiments, or disease 
surveys, but not merely for convenience in identifying animals.
     An eartag with an AIN beginning with the 840 prefix 
(either RFID or visual-only tag) may be applied to an animal that is 
already officially identified with an eartag with a NUES number, as AIN 
devices are commonly used for herd management purposes.
     A brucellosis vaccination eartag with a NUES number could 
be applied for management purposes in accordance with the existing 
brucellosis regulations to an animal that is already officially 
identified under the traceability regulations.
    Many commenters opposed the proposed restrictions, with some 
questioning our rationale that the use of multiple official 
identification devices

[[Page 2050]]

on the same animal can cause confusion and impede efforts to track the 
movements of that animal. Some of these commenters stated that, 
contrary to our view, using multiple official identification devices on 
the same animal can create redundancies and thereby aid traceability. 
Other commenters requested clarification of the requirements, 
suggesting that if brands or tattoos were to be allowed as official 
identification for cattle in the final rule, then the prohibition on 
multiple official identification devices would seem to preclude the use 
of eartags on branded or tattooed cattle.
    As stated in the preamble of the August 2011 proposed rule, the use 
of multiple official eartags with multiple official identification 
numbers for a single animal can cause confusion and impede efforts to 
track the movements of that animal. This problem has primarily occurred 
when the same animal had multiple National Uniform Eartagging System 
(NUES) eartags, sometimes as many as three or more. We acknowledge that 
having more than one NUES tag may provide additional points of 
reference for the animal's location. For example, if the animal with 
multiple NUES tags is the index animal that has tested positive for the 
disease under investigation, the multiple NUES tag numbers for that 
animal are all recorded when the traceback investigation is initiated. 
While applying an additional NUES eartag effectively identifies the 
cattle in the shipment, however, the animals become difficult to trace 
when the official number on the new official eartag is not recorded or 
aligned with the initial or existing NUES tag number. An investigating 
animal health officer often sees tag numbers on epidemiological reports 
of suspect animals that need to be located for testing. Without being 
able to cross-reference the multiple official identification numbers, 
the animal health official can only assume that each official 
identification number that becomes part of the investigation represents 
a different animal that must each be traced. This increases the 
complexity of the traceback and lengthens the investigation.
    After reviewing the comments on this issue, we considered requiring 
recording the initial number(s) when applying an additional official 
eartag to align the official identification numbers of the new tag and 
the tag(s) already attached to the animal and reflect that both the 
existing eartag(s) and the new eartag are on the same animal. However 
we determined it was more practical to adhere to the general approach 
we took in the proposed rule, which was to prohibit the application of 
additional official identification devices to a single animal unless 
warranted by a specific situation. We are, however, clarifying that the 
restriction applies to official eartags only. As noted above, under the 
provisions of this final rule, brands, tattoos, and breed registry 
certificates may be recognized as official by shipping and receiving 
States and Tribes. Because only the use of multiple official eartags 
will be restricted, it will be permissible to tag animals already 
identified with brands or tattoos.
    Adjusting for instances where stakeholders have indicated that 
additional official eartags would provide herd management advantages, 
we are also clarifying the language of the above-listed exceptions, 
including information recording requirements, and adding an exception 
that will allow the use of multiple official eartags with the same 
official identification number on a single animal. Producers often use 
AIN tags to manage herds because the tags are large enough to contain 
both management numbers and the AIN. Tag manufacturers, at the request 
of producers, have provided sets of two or three tags with the same 
AIN. This allows the AIN eartag to be applied in each ear; in some 
situations, a smaller button or RFID tag with the same number is 
applied to one of the ears. AIN tags with the same number thus may be 
applied to the same animal. While metal NUES tags have not been 
provided in sets, this option will apply to any official eartag 
produced with the same number and attached to the same animal.
Removal or Loss of Official Identification Devices
    Some cattle producers stated that traceability considerations are 
often ignored by slaughterhouses, and the traceability of an animal is 
lost and open to fraud once an animal is dismembered and its tags 
separated from the meat. It was suggested that such noncompliance could 
continue to hinder traceability even after traceability program is 
implemented. Many of these commenters stated that before the proposed 
rule is finalized, APHIS must have a defined plan and agreement in 
place with FSIS and/or the harvesting establishments relative to the 
collection and recording of retired tags at slaughter. Such recording 
and retirement is necessary for a bookend system to function.
    We recognize that compliance with all the regulations is important 
to support traceability and plan to work with FSIS and slaughter plants 
to ensure the collection of identification devices. A memorandum of 
understanding (MOU) will be established between APHIS and FSIS 
regarding the responsibilities of the two agencies for the collection 
of identification at the slaughter plants. We are also amending Sec.  
86.4(d)(2) to state explicitly that collecting identification devices 
at slaughter and providing them to APHIS and FSIS is the responsibility 
of the slaughter plant. Additionally, this rulemaking requires that a 
cross reference of the carcass and the animal's identification be 
maintained through carcass inspection. Maintaining the identity past 
that inspection is outside the scope of these regulations, however. 
When the carcass passes inspection, the collected identification 
devices are to be provided to APHIS, which will be responsible for the 
administration of tag and animal termination recording.
Replacement of Official Eartags
    Some commenters stated that our proposed process for replacing lost 
tags would necessitate additional recordkeeping and place an 
unrealistic burden on small producers. It was recommended that 
producers be exempted from the 5-year recordkeeping requirement 
associated with applying a new device after one has been lost.
    The vast majority of the records that support the traceability 
regulations will be maintained by individuals other than producers. 
Since producers may retag animals that lose their official eartags, 
they may be the only ones that have such information. Therefore, these 
records must be maintained by the producer. While tag loss is expected, 
the percentage of animals that lose their eartags is a small percentage 
of all animals tagged. Therefore, the volume of records any producer 
will need to maintain for this requirement is expected to be quite low.
    Some commenters requested that we amend the final rule to allow 
producers to obtain a replacement AIN tag with the same 840 AIN when a 
tag has been lost or is no longer a viable tag. It was stated that 
because these tags are already used for management purposes in many 
dairies and some beef operations, allowing producers to replace AIN/840 
tags with duplicates would avoid unnecessary confusion that could be 
caused by assigning an animal more than one number and thus help to 
maintain the viability and integrity of the national traceability 
system.
    We agree with this comment. In fact, while the proposed rule did 
not include regulatory text allowing for the issuance of such duplicate 
tags, it did not expressly prohibit such issuance either. The existing 
Animal Identification

[[Page 2051]]

Management System (AIMS) has had a tag reporting option established for 
AIN device manufacturers for reporting the distribution of duplicate 
AIN eartags. Additionally, ISO 11784, which AIN radio frequency tags 
adhere to, provides for the encoding of a portion of the code for the 
administration of duplicate replacement tags. Nonetheless, we are 
amending Sec.  86.4(d)(4) in this final rule to allow for both the 
retagging of animals with tags imprinted with different official 
identification numbers from the ones being replaced and retagging of 
animals with replacement or duplicate tags that have the same official 
identification number as was imprinted on the animal's initial official 
eartag. While the commenters referenced the issuance of duplicate 
replacement eartags for 840 AIN tags only, the amended text allows for 
the use, as well, of other animal numbering systems that can readily be 
produced with the animal's original number. The protocol for the 
administration of duplicate replacement eartags is provided for in the 
Animal Disease Traceability General Standards document, a revised 
version of which is being released in conjunction with this final rule.
Other Issues Pertaining to the Use of Official Eartags on Cattle
    Some commenters recommended that the final rule should allow the 
use of owner-shipper tags, for feeder cattle only, at receiving 
locations for cattle owners or shippers who lack tagging facilities and 
who sell directly to buyer in another State. A few of these commenters, 
while supporting the recommendation, stated that this tagging option 
should be allowed only at an approved tagging site.
    While markets are likely to be the most common locations that 
become approved tagging sites, animal health officials may approve 
feedlots to tag animals on behalf of the producer that shipped or sold 
the animals. This exemption from the requirement for official 
identification prior to interstate movement, however, is limited to 
locations that are approved tagging sites. Producers that elect to use 
a tagging site may choose to obtain the official eartags and provide 
them to the personnel of the tagging site to have those official tags 
applied to their animals. We consider the option of officially 
identifying animals at any destination to be too broad, potentially 
leading to deficiencies in the maintenance of identification records. 
The approval process for tagging sites allows for oversight of these 
locations to ensure that necessary records are properly maintained and 
provides adequate flexibility to allow States and Tribes to determine 
the extent to which tagging sites are utilized.
    Some commenters suggested that we should require a State code to be 
imprinted on official eartags. It was claimed that a State code 
provides the most important information needed to enable traceback.
    While the numbering system for the NUES utilizes State and Tribal 
codes, the 840 AIN does not. States that obtain AIN devices may elect 
to have the State abbreviation imprinted on the AIN eartags, and 
several States are doing so when they obtain the tags. Unlike NUES 
tags, the AIN tags are available in many tag types, currently exceeding 
40. The inventorying of multiple tag types by States and Tribes creates 
significant logistical challenges, and to minimize the options would 
lessen the flexibility currently provided. While States and/or 
producers that obtain the tags may have their State or Tribal codes 
imprinted on them, we determined that requiring it to be imprinted on 
the tag or to be part of the AIN would cause tag distribution 
inefficiencies that outweighed the potential advantages. For example, 
because the distribution of AIN tags is not limited to direct shipment 
from the manufacturer to the producer's farm at the time of 
manufacture, the State where the farm receiving the tags is located may 
be unknown. Additionally, maintaining distribution records of both NUES 
tags and AIN tags in electronic systems is imperative for timely 
retrieval of tag distribution data for traceback investigations, as the 
State designations alone are typically not specific enough for this 
purpose.
    Our reliance on eartags for official identification in the proposed 
traceability regulations was questioned by some commenters on the 
grounds that tagging is not necessarily synonymous with effective 
traceability.
    We agree that official identification in itself is not sufficient 
for an effective traceability system. When combined, however, with the 
information obtained from the records of tag distribution and the 
availability of management records and movement documents with 
nationally unique numbers, eartags have been and will continue to be 
invaluable to traceback investigations.
    In our earlier discussion of the definition of official eartag, we 
noted that some commenters opposed the U.S. shield requirement, and we 
amended the definition in response to those comments. Some of those 
commenters recommended that we allow States and Tribes to issue their 
own official identification tags without the U.S. shield, as long as 
combining the tag number and State identifier resulted in a unique 
number.
    A standardized way of marking all official tags is considered 
critical to help clarify the confusion that currently exists relative 
to eartags being official. Standardization will support a more user-
friendly system and help increase the level of compliance. We believe 
it is important to have a simple and standardized means of determining 
if a tag is official. The standardization of numbers also allows for 
automated error checking, resulting in greater data integrity in 
information systems. The addition of the definition of official eartag 
shield, discussed above, to the regulations allows the States and 
Tribes to imprint their postal abbreviations or alpha codes instead of 
``US'' on the tag. States and Tribes will be able to administer their 
own official eartags, provided that those eartags adhere to our 
definition of official eartag.
    A commenter questioned how a producer or organization would request 
printed AIN tags for a location without a national premises 
identification number (PIN). The commenter recommended allowing AIN 
eartags to be ordered with a State location identifier in lieu of a 
national PIN.
    In this rulemaking, while continuing to allow for the use of the 
PIN, we also provide for the use of a location identification (LID) 
number, which we define as a nationally unique number issued by a 
State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to a location as 
determined by the State or Tribe in which it is issued. As noted in 
Section B of the Animal Disease Traceability General Standards 
document, producers may obtain AIN tags provided they have either a PIN 
or an LID.
    Some commenters recommended that we add language to the final rule 
to provide a method for the use of electronic identification of cattle 
that are currently located in the United States but that originated in 
another country.
    APHIS does recognize that limiting the use of 840 AINs to cattle 
born in the United States and the transition from accepting 
manufacturer-coded AINs as official will cause a void in the 
availability of official RFID tags for imported livestock. The use of 
the manufacturer-coded RFID AIN tags will provide an option for the 
identification of such cattle until the date such tags are no longer 
recognized as official at time of application. Consideration of a long-
term solution to this issue is being given, and any resulting changes 
will be reflected in future updates of the

[[Page 2052]]

Animal Disease Traceability General Standards document.
    A commenter recommended that we require official 840 RFID tags for 
all female dairy cattle and those male dairy cattle used for 
reproductive purposes and that we require an official 840 ``brite'' or 
RFID tag for those male dairy cattle (bull calves) used for meat 
purposes, i.e., fed veal or dairy beef steers.
    In keeping with the vision for the animal disease traceability 
system set out by the Secretary on February 5, 2010, we have elected 
not to specify which eartag is required for any sector of the cattle 
population, as it is our thinking that this decision is best made by 
the producers and animal owners.
    A commenter stated that we should not allow exemptions from 
official identification requirements for cattle and bison moving to 
approved livestock facilities, as he believed we did in the August 2011 
proposed rule. The commenter stated that such facilities may be high-
risk facilities due to the possibility of commingling of animals on the 
premises.
    In the proposed rule, we provided an exemption from the official 
identification requirements for cattle and bison moving interstate to 
an approved tagging site. This exemption was intended to allow 
producers to have their animals tagged at such a site when they were 
unable to tag the animals themselves. We did not propose to exempt 
cattle and bison moving interstate to an approved livestock facility 
from the official identification requirements. The exemption for 
movement to an approved livestock facility applies to the ICVI and was 
provided because livestock markets are the approved facilities where 
accredited veterinarians are typically available on sale days to 
conduct the necessary inspections and issue the ICVIs.
Miscellaneous Cattle Identification Issues
    Under the August 2011 proposed rule, beef cattle under the age of 
18 months did not have to be officially identified prior to interstate 
movement during the initial phase of the implementation process, but 
dairy cattle, regardless of age or sex or current use, were required to 
be officially identified. Some dairy producers stated that the age for 
requiring official identification prior to interstate movement should 
be the same for dairy and beef cattle.
    We do not agree with this comment. Dairy calves are raised much 
differently than calves in the beef sector, which typically stay with 
their dams until weaning. The significant movement of dairy calves and 
yearlings and their commingling with cattle from multiple dairies 
increases the risk of disease spread, justifying their inclusion in the 
current rulemaking. As we have already noted, we now intend to subject 
feeder cattle to the official identification requirements in a separate 
future rulemaking.
    A commenter requested clarification on whether steers of dairy 
origin would be exempted from identification requirements when this 
final rule became effective.
    Under the proposed rule, all dairy cattle were to be subject to the 
official identification requirements beginning on the effective date of 
this final rule. Upon further consideration, we have concluded that 
there would be minimal value in officially identifying for the first 
time older dairy steers that may have already moved interstate before 
the effective date of this final rule. While the identification of 
animals in the dairy sector is important, in particular at young ages, 
we have determined it to be appropriate, at this point, to apply the 
official identification requirements only to male dairy animals born 
after the effective date of this final rule. We have revised the 
provision pertaining to the official identification of dairy cattle for 
interstate movement to state that beginning on March 11, 2013, all 
dairy females, regardless of age, and all male dairy animals that are 
born after that date will be required to be officially identified prior 
to interstate movement.
    A commenter requested that we include third-party traceability 
programs, such as the above-mentioned AMS-recognized programs, 
currently used by numerous cattle producers to verify the age and 
source of livestock as an official identification method.
    The use of the official identification devices or methods allowed 
for cattle under these regulations can easily support such programs if 
the eartags used in the programs bear numbers that meet our definition 
of official identification number. The AMS programs referred to earlier 
require a unique number only within their certified programs, however. 
Since there are a number of other systems that verify processes, 
feeding claims, exports, quality system assessment, or product label 
claims, relying only on system-specific or proprietary numbers would 
cause problems in traceability systems that require nationally unique 
numbers. Therefore, we are not making any changes to the final rule in 
response to this comment. However, as noted earlier, APHIS will work 
with AMS to establish greater standardization, in particular for animal 
numbering systems, to ensure that identification methods meet the 
requirements necessary for both programs.
    A commenter stated that the cattle industry cannot afford to have 
individual tags read and that APHIS should allow tags or brands to be 
used to identify groups of cattle.
    These traceability regulations do allow for the use of group 
identification when the animals move through the preharvest production 
chain as one group. In such a situation, the group can be identified in 
its entirety. However, when individual animals are moved and commingled 
with cattle from other premises, the determination of which animal was 
at what location can no longer be achieved with a group identifier; 
therefore, we cannot allow for the broad use of group identification 
for cattle that the commenter recommends. APHIS does recognize the 
complexity of recording official identification numbers on the ICVI and 
has limited that requirement in this rulemaking to those cattle and 
bison that will be covered by the official identification requirements 
on the date when this final rule becomes effective.
    A commenter took the position that APHIS should allow one PIN to 
apply to all cattle at various ranches owned by a single operation.
    Location identifiers are administered by the States and Tribes. The 
use of one location identifier is often appropriate when cattle 
typically move among those locations. Allowing the use of a single 
location identifier to designate multiple premises or locations, 
however, can be problematic if there are large distances between the 
various locations. For example, consider an operation with a home 
location and one or more locations at various distances, one of which 
is 20 miles from the home premises. In this example, suppose that a 
disease is traced to the home farm and a 10-mile quarantine zone is 
placed around it. If at the time of quarantine, the animal health 
official is only aware of the location of the home premises (because 
all locations are reported as one), the operations outside the 10-mile 
zone would initially be left out of the investigation. As the 
investigation is further conducted, the quarantine zone will be 
extended, but having knowledge of those additional locations early on 
helps animal health officials quickly determine the scope of the 
disease and reduces the time and expense of the investigation. Since 
States and Tribes administer location identifiers, it is their 
prerogative to determine how to issue them in such situations.
    It was suggested by a commenter that APHIS should require the 
approval of

[[Page 2053]]

both the sending and receiving States or Tribes for use of group/lot 
identification with cattle. A location-based GIN would appear to be 
most useful in identifying calves from the ranch of origin to the 
backgrounding feedlot, according to the commenter. A location-based 
GIN, particularly when associated with a registered brand, would 
provide a level of traceability that is cost-effective for the 
producer, and would likely yield the level of granularity that animal 
health officials seek when conducting a disease traceback 
investigation.
    While State and Tribes have the option to agree on other methods of 
group/lot identification, for such identification to be recognized 
under these regulations as official, the animals in a shipment must 
meet our criteria for recognition as a group or lot, i.e., they must be 
of the same species and must comprise a ``unit'' that is managed as one 
group throughout the preharvest production chain. In such a situation, 
the entire group of animals is being traced, and one number for the 
entire group is very adequate for traceability. It is the view of APHIS 
that these criteria for a group or lot of animals should be uniformly 
applied, so that, while States and Tribes may agree on alternative 
forms of group/lot identification, if they do not agree, a receiving 
State or Tribe will not be required to accept shipments of animals that 
do not meet the criteria.
    Some commenters stated that what they termed ``event cattle,'' 
meaning cattle that may be used for a single event, are not a high-risk 
group like rodeo cattle and, therefore, should not be grouped with the 
classes of cattle and bison subject to the official identification 
requirements on that date that this final rule becomes effective. It 
was further suggested that event cattle should not have to be 
individually identified and, even if they were, that their 
identification numbers should not have to be recorded on an ICVI.
    We do not agree with these comments. The commingling of cattle with 
rodeo stock, even for a short period of time, increases the risk of 
disease exposure. Additionally, due to the frequent movement of such 
animals, the documentation of individual animal numbers is important.
    It was suggested that when commuter herds are approved for movement 
of animals between States or Tribes without meeting the requirements of 
the proposed regulations, language should be added indicating that if 
any of these animals are shipped to a different State not included in 
the commuter herd agreement, then these animals must be officially 
identified and documented to the original State of origin.
    We agree with this comment and are incorporating it into Sec.  
86.4(b)(1)(i)(A) in this final rule.
Official Identification Requirements for Poultry
    Many commenters opposed our proposed poultry identification 
requirements. It was stated that the proposed regulations would allow 
vertically integrated operations to use group identification for 
thousands of birds, while mandating individually numbered leg bands for 
any bird that crosses State lines and is not kept in an isolated group 
``throughout the preharvest chain.'' Such leg bands are impractical, 
according to the commenters, and requiring them could be devastating 
for many pastured poultry and backyard poultry owners. It was also 
maintained that since many pastured poultry operations and backyard 
poultry owners order day-old chicks from hatcheries scattered around 
the country, the proposed regulations would apply to many people who 
never take their birds across State lines after that first shipment.
    We have reviewed these comments and are revising this final rule to 
take into account the situation of poultry growers that are not part of 
the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) but that receive chicks 
from a hatchery and/or re[hyphen]distributor (feed store, etc.). 
Poultry belonging to such growers will be exempted from the official 
identification requirements under this final rule, but we will require 
that the persons responsible for the animals received from the hatchery 
and/or redistributor maintain a record of where they obtained the 
birds. Redistributors will be required to maintain a record of where 
they received chicks and which growers received the birds. Most growers 
already retain these records, so the recordkeeping requirement should 
not cause an additional burden.
    It was suggested by some commenters that we substitute for the 
proposed poultry identification provisions a statement that interstate 
movement of poultry would be governed by the NPIP. The existing NPIP 
program has worked well, according to the commenters, and there is no 
reason to add new, onerous tagging requirements.
    While the voluntary NPIP meets our traceability requirements and 
has worked well for those States that require it, we acknowledge that 
not all poultry growers and sectors of the industry participate in 
NPIP. We believe it is important to maintain poultry, a major commodity 
group, as a covered species in these regulations and have done so. We 
continue to maintain reference to NPIP, but as noted above, we are 
amending this final rule to address the primary concerns raised by the 
``backyard'' poultry growers.
    Some commenters also stated that existing poultry numbering systems 
have been working well and should be recognized in this rulemaking as 
group or flock identifiers.
    This final rule establishes a standard for identifying groups or 
flocks of poultry by means of the GIN. Shipping and receiving States or 
Tribes may also agree, however, to recognize alternate methods of 
identification in lieu of official identification for animals moved 
from the shipping State or Tribe into the receiving one, thus allowing 
for the use of other numbering systems that have been working 
effectively as group or flock identifiers.
    Commenters representing the poultry industry also stated that 
requiring identification of chickens moved to a custom slaughter 
facility would cause a significant and unwarranted economic burden for 
producers.
    In the proposed rule, we did exempt from the requirements of these 
regulations any covered livestock moving interstate to a custom 
slaughter facility in accordance with Federal and State regulations for 
preparation of meat for personal consumption. To alleviate concerns 
expressed by the commenters, we are clarifying the intent of the 
exemption in this final rule by removing the phrase ``for personal 
consumption.'' Therefore, under Sec.  86.2(e)(2) of this final rule, 
all livestock moved to a custom slaughter facility will be exempted 
from the traceability regulations.
    Some commenters suggested that commuter herd provisions, which 
exempt cattle and bison meeting the commuter herd requirements from 
official identification requirements, should be extended to include 
commercial poultry flocks as well. One of the commenters stated that 
the commercial broiler industry should be allowed to form agreements 
with States to ensure traceability.
    Our commuter herd provisions were intended to address a specific 
need in the cattle industry, where cattle move across State lines under 
retained ownership for grazing purposes.
    What the commenter is asking for more closely resembles the 
provisions in 9 CFR 71.19 that provide for the movement of swine within 
a production system. We do not believe that changes are necessary in 
this final rule in regards to expanding the concept of commuter herds 
to the commercial poultry industry, as the NPIP guidelines, which

[[Page 2054]]

are well-established in the commercial poultry industry, have provided 
very good traceability solutions. Additionally, the proposed rule did 
provide for States and Tribes to use other methods of identification 
and movement documentation for poultry. That is still the case under 
this final rule; thus, States and Tribes may enter into agreements with 
the commercial broiler industry, as suggested by the commenter.
Official Identification Requirements for Equines
    Many commenters stated that a physical description of the animal 
should qualify as official identification for equines without that 
description having to be approved by an official of the receiving State 
or Tribe, as provided for in the proposed rule.
    That proposed requirement was intended to apply only to those 
situations where the person examining the equine's identity had 
questions regarding the description provided. Where such uncertainty 
existed, an animal health official in the receiving State or Tribe was 
to determine if the description was sufficient or not. In this final 
rule, Sec.  86.4(a)(2) has been revised to provide, as an option, that 
the animal health official at the destination may make the 
determination when called upon, but the use of the animal health 
official is not required. For example, the accredited veterinarian or 
authority at an equine exhibition may elect to make the determination 
of the equine's identity without review by the animal health official.
    A commenter suggested that we should provide for additional 
identification methods for equines, such as existing microchips and 
biometric measurements.
    These traceability regulations do provide for various methods of 
identification, including physical descriptions, electronic 
identification, digital photographs or other methods agreed to by the 
shipping and receiving States or Tribes. Most of these methods are 
already in use, though biometrics is relatively new. Adding a second 
microchip that is ISO compliant to an equine that already has an 
existing non-ISO injectable transponder is not practical. We are, 
however, amending Sec.  86.4(a)(2) of this final rule to add an option 
to recognize the non-ISO transponders as official for those applied to 
the equine on or prior to March 11, 2014. We are also adding a 
reference to biometric measurements as official identification.
    Additionally, in response to other commenters who viewed our 
proposed equine official identification requirements as burdensome, we 
are adding some exemptions from the official identification 
requirements. Most of these parallel the exemptions allowed for cattle 
and bison. One, however, reflects the unique nature of equines. Equines 
moving interstate would be exempted from the official identification 
requirements if used as a mode of transportation, e.g., for riding or 
to pull a buggy, provided they then return to the original location. 
These exemptions will also be added to the ICVI requirements for 
equines in Sec.  86.5(f).
    A commenter questioned the need for imposing additional 
identification and veterinary inspection requirements for equines when 
current requirements for Coggins tests are being met.
    Horse owners who are meeting vaccination and Coggins-test 
requirements would likely satisfy the requirements for official 
identification and documentation of equines under these regulations. 
Documentation completed in accordance with the equine infectious anemia 
(EIA) requirements in 9 CFR part 75 may be used in lieu of ICVIs. 
Identification previously used on EIA test reports may be accepted by 
the animal health official in the receiving State or Tribe.
Official Identification Requirements for Swine
    Some commenters representing the swine industry expressed concern 
that allowing for the use of LIDs in lieu of PINs defeats the purpose 
of a single nationally standardized number and may lead to unnecessary 
confusion and difficulties in implementation. The commenters state that 
the PIN has become the preferred location identifier for the pork 
industry, with more than 95 percent of swine premises having registered 
with the standard PIN to date. Members of the industry strongly 
supported our maintaining the National Premises Allocator, National 
Premises Information Repository, and the data elements that are 
currently included in the repository. One comment from a pork producer 
stated that the use of the PIN should be mandatory on tags applied to 
sows going to cull markets.
    This rulemaking does not disallow the use of a PIN, nor does it 
prohibit an industry from adopting it as a standard. We are simply 
providing additional flexibility for States or Tribes that offer an 
acceptable alternative means of identifying locations where livestock 
are raised.
    Commenters representing the pork industry also expressed concern 
about our modifying some current definitions in the CFR by removing the 
data standards for GINs and PINs and defining them in the Animal 
Disease Traceability General Standards document. The commenters stated 
that while the proposed changes would allow for flexibility in defining 
various location identifiers and for the use of the LID as a component 
of a GIN, they will lead to unnecessary confusion. To avoid that 
confusion, these industry commenters requested that APHIS recognize the 
data standards defined in Sec.  71.1 for the PIN and GIN as the 
official data standards for the pork industry.
    We do not agree that it is the role of APHIS to establish industry 
standards; rather, it is to set minimum standards for States and Tribes 
that provide flexibility at the local level. If an industry chooses to 
adopt a specific standard, that is its prerogative as long as the 
standard meets the minimum guidelines of these regulations or is agreed 
to by animal health officials involved in the interstate movement.
    Pork industry commenters further stated that, to avoid any possible 
conflicts that might arise between the requirements set out in this 
rulemaking and the currently applicable sections of the regulations 
that deal with the identification of swine in interstate commerce, 
veterinary inspection, and issuance of ICVI's, APHIS should clearly 
indicate in this final rule that the requirements of Sec.  71.19 are 
the ones that govern the interstate movement of swine.
    We agree with this comment. The August 2011 proposed rule did, in 
fact, state that swine moving interstate were subject to the 
requirements of Sec.  71.19, and this final rule does so as well.
Official Identification Requirements for Captive Cervids
    A commenter stressed the importance of flexibility in 
identification requirements for cervids. It was stated that such 
identification methods as brands, tattoos, and microchips, may be more 
appropriate than eartags for some markets within the cervid industry.
    This rulemaking does not change the requirements for official 
identification of captive cervids, which are currently contained in 9 
CFR part 77. Those existing regulations provide for various official 
identification methods, including tattoos and electronic implants.
Official Identification Requirements for Sheep and Goats
    A commenter representing sheep and goat producers stated that, if 
in the future, APHIS should determine that identification for sheep is 
needed

[[Page 2055]]

beyond what is currently required for the scrapie program, then group 
identification should be allowed.
    Group/lot identification is allowed under this rulemaking. Group/
lot identification is not species-specific and will be available as an 
option for sheep and goat producers, as well as other livestock 
producers.
Miscellaneous Identification Issues
    A commenter questioned how the LID is different from the PIN and 
stated that having two different numbering systems for the 
identification or premises may be unnecessarily complex and expensive.
    The option of allowing a State or Tribe to issue a location 
identifier resulted from the strong negative feedback we received from 
livestock owners opposed to the premises registration component of the 
NAIS. While having location information on where livestock are raised 
is critical to traceability, it is recognized that States may have 
their own systems to maintain information on such locations. The LID 
option was established to provide that flexibility. Data standards for 
both LIDs and PINs are contained in the Animal Disease Traceability 
General Standards document.
    A commenter questioned why the proposed regulations allowed the use 
of other identification methods and devices, if agreed to by the 
shipping and receiving States or Tribes, in lieu of the official 
identification devices for the various species of covered livestock. In 
the commenter's view, allowing the use of other identification devices 
would result in a lack of standardization of official identification 
devices and would be detrimental to traceability.
    These traceability regulations list official identification devices 
and methods for each species of covered livestock. The diversification 
of animal agriculture across the United States is tremendous, and, 
taking into account all the feedback we received over the last few 
years, we recognized that ``one size does not fit all.'' Thus we 
designed these regulations to support the efforts of States and Tribes 
to work with producers at the local level to implement traceability 
solutions that work best for all concerned.
    A commenter stated that allowing group/lot identification of 
animals managed together as one group through the production chain 
would give a competitive advantage to vertically integrated operations 
over smaller producers.
    The group/lot identification option is based on the need to have 
adequate information available to State, Tribal, and Federal animal 
health officials to conduct traceback investigations. Requiring there 
to be individual identification on each animal that moved through the 
preharvest production chain would not improve the traceability of those 
animals. Thus, group/lot identification is a justified option in those 
situations, regardless of the size of the group.
    A commenter stated that there should be a uniform requirement, with 
no exemptions, that all livestock in interstate commerce be 
individually officially identified before moving interstate, as is now 
the case with horses, according to the commenter.
    We do not agree with this comment. We recognize that there are 
circumstances where official identification and/or ICVIs for interstate 
movement of animals are not warranted from a disease-risk perspective 
or that the traceability of animals moving interstate may be possible 
without requiring official identification of individual animals. For 
example, livestock moved interstate to a custom slaughter facility are 
already identified to the person responsible for bringing the animal to 
the facility. An official eartag would not make the animal more 
traceable; thus, we exempted such livestock from the traceability 
requirements.
    It was the view of some commenters that we should allow States and 
Tribes to choose the identification methods that work best for them and 
to select the level of traceability that works best for them, based on 
their needs and infrastructure constraints.
    State and Tribes may use the forms of identification they prefer in 
lieu of official identification when the receiving States or Tribes 
agree to accept that method of identification for animals moving into 
its jurisdiction. Likewise, the level of traceability States or Tribes 
establish within their jurisdictions is at their discretion.

Documentation Requirements

    Documentation requirements, which were contained in Sec.  90.5 of 
the August 2011 proposed rule, are contained in Sec.  86.5 of this 
final rule.
    Many cattle organizations recommended that a fully electronic ICVI 
system be in place in all the States and Tribes as a prerequisite to 
expanding the official identification requirements to include cattle 
and bison exempted in this rulemaking.
    The conditions for initiating a second rulemaking to cover those 
additional classes of cattle and bison have yet to be determined. The 
merits of electronic ICVIs are fully recognized by APHIS, and we 
believe their adoption is important to increase administrative 
efficiencies and to support timely traceability. APHIS provides an 
electronic ICVI system that all States and Tribes may utilize and 
supports options for third-party developed and supported systems. We 
have established data standards that third-party system providers need 
to incorporate so that their systems and ours will be compatible.
    Some commenters took the argument further, stating that paper 
copies of ICVIs are not needed at all and that electronic copies are 
not only sufficient for traceability needs but should be required. It 
was also stated that the regulations need to allow for the use of 
electronic ICVI addenda.
    We agree that electronic ICVIs have inherent benefits in terms of 
data retrieval, readability, and ease of execution, but disagree that 
paper ICVIs have no place in our traceability program. Although all 
States currently have the electronic ICVIs available for use, full 
implementation by the majority of accredited veterinarians will take 
time. We have areas of the country where electronic issuance of 
certificates that are Web-based is not possible at the locations where 
they are needed. While moving to increased use of electronic ICVIs is 
important, paper-based ICVIs will have a role in the foreseeable 
future. Additionally, even as the use of electronic ICVI systems become 
more widespread, it will still be necessary for enforcement purposes 
for the printouts of such certificates to accompany the livestock in 
transit.
    Some commenters stated that the proposed ICVI requirements would be 
burdensome for producers. Because there are not enough veterinarians 
available in all States to conduct the necessary inspections on animals 
preparing to move interstate, having to obtain an ICVI would require 
some producers to pen their calves longer to arrange for those 
inspections. The result would be greater stress on the animals and 
reduced profits for the producers.
    We acknowledge that there may be situations where the issuance of 
an ICVI is an economic burden. For that reason, we allow States or 
Tribes to issue alternative movement documentation in lieu of ICVIs 
when agreed to by the States or Tribes involved in the interstate 
movement. In this final rule, we are extending this exemption to 
include breeding cattle over 18 months of age, which would have been 
required to be accompanied by an ICVI under the proposed rule.
    A number of commenters viewed the proposed requirement for the 
recording of individual identification numbers on

[[Page 2056]]

the ICVI as burdensome to producers and market operators, stating that 
the benefits of such recording would not outweigh the costs. It was 
suggested that State officials should be allowed to waive the recording 
of individual identification numbers on ICVIs.
    An ICVI is a certification that a veterinarian has inspected 
specific animals. The requirement for recording the animals' 
identification numbers on the ICVI ensures that the inspections have 
actually taken place for those specific animals. State and Tribal 
animal health officials use the ICVIs to help in animal disease 
investigations. If the animals' identification numbers are not listed 
on the ICVI, it is more difficult to determine which animals were 
moved. To limit any possible burdens resulting from the recording 
requirements, the only animals we require to be listed on the ICVI are 
those we have determined to be associated with a higher risk of disease 
spread.
    Some commenters stated that we should allow for the stapling of a 
printed list of RFID tag numbers to a paper ICVI rather than requiring 
the writing down of the numbers on the ICVI itself.
    We agree with this comment and are amending the ICVI definition in 
this final rule to allow for State-approved addenda that would include 
an option for an attached printout of official identification numbers 
generated by computer or other means. The amended definition will also 
note, however, that such addenda or attachments may only be used if 
agreed to by the receiving State or Tribe.
    Some commenters took the opposite view, stating that when official 
identification is required, the identification numbers should always be 
recorded on the ICVI. Attaching another sheet of paper to the ICVI was 
not seen as adequate because that other sheet seldom accompanies the 
ICVI to the State of destination.
    While this final rule will allow for the use of attachments to the 
ICVI, as noted above, States and Tribes are not required to accept them 
if they do not view that method of recording official identification 
numbers as sufficient to meet their traceability needs.
    Some commenters stated that we should allow for greater flexibility 
than we originally proposed in the use of alternative, State-approved 
methods of ICVI addenda. It was stated that we should allow for the 
listing of a series or range of numbers included in a shipment rather 
than the exact identification tag numbers for each animal in the 
shipment.
    The ability to find individual animals quickly and determine what 
other animals they had contact with is key to effective epidemiological 
investigations. If ICVIs did not have individual identification numbers 
listed for the animals in a shipment, the ability of State, Tribal, and 
Federal animal health officials to conduct traceback investigations on 
those animals would be hampered. Alternative methods can only be used 
if States or Tribes involved in the interstate movement have agreed to 
them.
    Some commenters stated that to avoid placing undue burdens on small 
entities, there should be a farm, business, or herd size threshold for 
exemption from the ICVI requirement. Traceability is more related to 
the number of animals that move interstate than it is to herd size. 
Regardless of size, herds that do not move animals interstate are 
exempt. Furthermore, APHIS has no intent to monitor the size of herds, 
require the reporting of inventory, or conduct any activity along those 
lines that would be necessary to establish herd size exemptions.
    A commenter stated that there is no need to require an ICVI for 
equines moving interstate because the movement documents already 
required for equine species are adequate for traceback purposes.
    We will not be making any changes to the final rule in response to 
this comment. It is true that most States already have movement 
requirements for equines. This rulemaking helps to make existing 
requirements more uniform throughout the nation. The EIA test chart, 
commonly required for interstate movement, certifies that a horse is 
not infected with the disease, but does not document the origin and 
destination of an interstate movement. The ICVI, issued by a 
veterinarian, does provide the ship-from and ship-to locations. These 
regulations also provide that States and Tribes may use other methods 
of movement documentation, which may include an EIA test chart, when 
agreed upon by the animal health officials in the States or Tribes 
involved in the interstate movement.
    Some commenters stated that an exemption from the ICVI requirements 
in the proposed rule for cattle and bison moving interstate to a 
veterinary clinic and then returning to their farm of origin without a 
change in ownership should be also be allowed for equines and other 
species as well.
    We acknowledge the support for the exemption, which was included in 
the proposed rule for poultry as well as for cattle and bison. In this 
final rule, we are adding the same exemption for equines.
    Under the proposed rule, individual identification numbers of 
cattle and bison moving interstate were required to be recorded on the 
ICVI with certain exceptions. Exempted categories were sexually intact 
cattle and bison under 18 months of age or steers or spayed heifers, 
excluding sexually intact dairy cattle of any age or cattle or bison 
used for rodeos, exhibitions, or recreational purposes. Many cattle 
organizations strongly supported maintaining those exemptions from the 
ICVI recording requirements rather than phasing them out, as they 
claimed we proposed to do.
    We agree with these comments. The proposed rule did not in fact 
contain language suggesting that we intended to phase out these 
exemptions.
    Many commenters stated that we should allow the use of other 
movement documents in lieu of the ICVI for all ages of cattle and bison 
when the shipping and receiving States or Tribes agree. The potential 
burden to producers of the ICVI requirement, resulting from a decline 
in the availability of veterinary coverage around the country, was 
cited as a reason for this recommended change from the proposed rule, 
which only allowed such an exemption for cattle and bison under 18 
months of age.
    We agree with the commenters on the need for flexibility and 
alternatives in areas of the country where obtaining an ICVI would 
impose an economic hardship on producers. We are, therefore, amending 
Sec.  86.5(c)(6) in this final rule to allow for the use of alternative 
movement documentation for all ages of cattle and bison when agreed to 
by the animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States or 
Tribes.
    It was recommended that the ICVI exemption contained in the 
proposed rule for poultry moved directly to a recognized slaughtering 
establishment should be expanded to cover poultry moved directly to 
rendering establishments as well.
    We agree that the exemption is appropriate for poultry moving 
directly to either destination and are amending Sec.  86.5(g)(2) of 
this final rule accordingly.
    While we received many comments recommending exemptions to the ICVI 
requirements, we also received one stating that we should allow no 
exemptions and no use of alternative forms of documentation. The ICVI, 
the commenter stated, should be used for all interstate movements 
because standard documentation is necessary for an effective 
traceability program.

[[Page 2057]]

    We do not agree with this comment. Due to the lack of large-animal 
veterinarians in some areas of the country, allowing only the ICVI to 
be used for interstate movement could result in significant economic 
hardship for some producers. We view a more flexible approach, one 
which allows the use of alternative movement documentation when agreed 
to by the animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States 
or Tribes, as more effective and less burdensome.
    Some commenters stated that we should allow an ICVI to be valid for 
a period of time, e.g., 30 days, for brief and frequent out-of-State 
movements not involving a change of ownership of the livestock. One 
commenter recommended issuing an alternative document called an ``event 
passport'' for equines for this purpose. It was stated that allowing an 
ICVI to be valid for a period of time would alleviate burdens on 
livestock owners and veterinarians.
    We realize that there are many ways in which livestock move 
interstate. These include movements in which animals return to their 
original location and, in some cases, move again a few days later to 
another location. While a new ICVI for each movement would aid in 
traceability, we realize that in some situations, other options are 
more practical for both the animal owner and accredited veterinarian. 
However, to account specifically for each variable in the regulation 
would likely create significant confusion. The rule, as proposed, 
provided the local officials with the authority to utilize other 
movement documents when agreed to at the local level by the State and 
Tribes involved. While not specifically referenced, such documents 
could include an event passport. We have maintained these options in 
the final rule to support the use of other movement documentation as 
agreed to by the involved State or Tribe animal health officials. Yet, 
we do believe that a standard and uniform definition for the ICVI and 
standard and uniform requirements for its administration are critical, 
and we have maintained those as proposed.
    It was stated by a commenter representing a swine industry 
association that the ICVI requirements contained in the proposed rule 
included some data not currently required for swine and could cause 
some confusion regarding issuance. Specifically, the commenter 
questioned why it was necessary for an accredited veterinarian to 
indicate on the ICVI the purpose for which the animals are being moved 
interstate.
    As we explained in the preamble to the August 2011 proposed rule, 
the information requirements for the ICVI were closely modeled on the 
requirements for certificates in the brucellosis regulations. The 
requirement for the accredited veterinarian to state the purpose of the 
interstate movement is to differentiate between temporary movements 
(shows, exhibitions, etc.) and permanent movements (sales, retained 
ownership, etc.). On many existing State-issued ICVIs, there is a box 
that can be checked indicating the purpose of the movement. In any 
event, the establishment of these traceability regulations does not 
affect the documentation requirements for the interstate movement of 
swine, which will continue to be governed by Sec.  71.19.
    A commenter representing the swine industry stated that while swine 
moved directly to slaughter are not currently required to have an ICVI, 
under the proposed rule, the requirements would become more stringent, 
since only animals moved to custom slaughter would be exempt. The 
commenter requested that, in the final rule, we reference exemptions 
for ICVIs for swine going into official slaughter channels.
    This rulemaking does not alter the documentation requirements for 
swine moving interstate for slaughter or other purposes. Such swine 
will continue to be subject to the documentation requirements of Sec.  
71.19. Swine that are not moving within a swine production system and 
that are covered by the pseudorabies regulations in part 85 will 
continue to be subject to the documentation requirements of that part.
    It was stated by commenters that we needed to be clearer regarding 
the location at which the ICVI must be issued and when the 5-day period 
for forwarding the ICVI begins.
    The ICVI is required to show the address at which the animals in a 
shipment are loaded for interstate movement. As we noted earlier, 
however, we are amending this final rule to clarify that veterinary 
inspection of the animals and issuance of the ICVI do not have to be 
done at that address. The inspection may take place at an alternate 
site, such as a veterinary clinic, and the actual completion of the 
ICVI may take place at another location, such as the office of the 
issuing veterinarian. To clarify the forwarding requirements, we are 
also amending Sec.  86.5(b) of this final rule to specify that the ICVI 
or other document accompanying the covered livestock must be forwarded 
by the person issuing it to the State or Tribal animal health official 
in State or Tribe of origin within 7 calendar days from the date of 
issuance and that that official must then forward it to the State or 
Tribe of destination within 7 calendar days of having received it.
    Additionally, to close a potential gap in the movement 
recordkeeping requirements, we are adding a new 86.5(b)(2) to this 
final rule stating that an animal health official or accredited 
veterinarian who issues or receives an ICVI or other interstate 
movement document in accordance with the paragraph above must retain a 
copy of the ICVI or other document. The timeframes are the same as 
those for approved livestock facilities: Such documents must be 
retained for 2 years for poultry and swine and 5 years for cattle and 
bison, equines, cervids, and sheep and goats.
    A commenter expressed concern about the provision in the proposed 
rule that stated that the person directly responsible for animals 
leaving a premises would be responsible for ensuring that the animals 
are accompanied by the ICVI or other interstate movement document. The 
commenter indicated that it is common in the pork industry for the 
production system veterinarian to be the person responsible for writing 
the ICVI or other documents used for interstate movements. It is also 
common for movements to be arranged by a designated person in the 
production system. In the view of the commenter, we needed to better 
define or explain what we meant by ``directly responsible.''
    It is not our intention to single out the accredited veterinarian 
or any other individual as being the primary responsible party in all 
cases. To avoid this, and to eliminate any possible ambiguity, we are 
revising the language of this provision slightly. Specifically, we are 
inserting, in Sec.  86.5(a) of this final rule, the words ``the persons 
responsible'' in place of ``the person directly responsible.''
    Some commenters stated that we should include fitness-to-travel 
requirements in the ICVI process and should require ICVIs to show the 
estimated travel times and stops. It was further stated that the ICVI 
should include a certification of intent to comply with the 28-hour 
law, which states that animals should not be driven for more than 28 
hours without food or rest.
    Although these comments may have merit, the suggested requirements 
are beyond the scope of this rule, which is designed to improve animal 
disease traceability, and of our statutory

[[Page 2058]]

authority under the Animal Health Protection Act.
    A few commenters expressed the view, contrary to that of most, that 
there is no justification for the exemption from ICVI requirements of 
direct-to-slaughter cattle.
    We do not agree with this comment. Cattle, upon arrival at a 
recognized slaughtering establishment, are inspected ante mortem and 
throughout the slaughtering process under the veterinary supervision of 
FSIS or State employees. When animals are shipped directly to 
slaughter, the location the animals were shipped from is known, and if 
there is any disease found at slaughter, it can easily be traced to 
that location. A requirement to have a veterinarian come to a farm to 
issue an ICVI for animals that are destined for immediate slaughter is 
unwarranted.
    Finally, a commenter stated that we should allow for greater 
flexibility in documentation by allowing inventory verification by a 
third party or at a shipment's destination rather than only its origin.
    We disagree with this comment. Movement documentation is an 
essential part of our animal disease tracing capability. Allowing 
animals to move without documentation and relying instead on the 
destination to verify the identity of animals, would require a complex 
and expensive system of reporting and compliance. Although we are aware 
that at certain times of the year, handling of animals can be 
difficult, with added risk to animal health, there are management 
techniques and procedures that can minimize the time required to 
identify animals and reduce the strain of preparing them for interstate 
movement.

Regulatory Impact Analysis

Costs
    It was claimed by some commenters that the regulatory impact 
analysis (RIA) we published in conjunction with the August 2011 
proposed rule grossly underestimated the economic cost to be borne by 
U.S. cattle producers. Some commenters expressed the view that we did 
not properly account for the cost of expanding the official 
identification requirements to cover feeder cattle.
    In the RIA, we attempted to estimate the new costs that will be 
associated with the provisions of the rulemaking. We acknowledged the 
significant portion of the cattle industry that already uses some 
method of identification, as reported in the National Animal Health 
Monitoring System 2007 and 2008 surveys. In the RIA, we noted that two-
thirds of the beef operations and 90 percent of dairy operations use 
some method of identification. Additionally, within beef operations, 
over 60 percent of the calves had some form of individual 
identification. Consideration of these existing practices is important 
when estimating new costs that may be attributed to the new 
traceability requirements, as we believe that official eartags, in many 
cases, will likely be applied at the same time at which cattle are 
already being tagged or worked through chutes for other management 
purposes. Additionally, with an array of official eartags, producers 
may choose a single eartag that meets both management and official 
identification needs. This option would make the additional cost of 
official eartags quite small. Likewise, we believe that producers will 
continue to develop tagging practices that minimize the cost of 
applying official eartags. Producers that are not able to tag their own 
cattle may find a tagging site to be the most practical option for 
meeting the official identification requirements. We believe that the 
RIA accurately identified tagging costs that may occur at tagging 
sites. We acknowledge that our estimates for the number of animals 
moved interstate that would require official identification is based on 
several assumptions and that the estimation of costs involves many 
variables. The range of $12.5 million to $30.5 million annually for 
official identification costs to producers resulting from this 
rulemaking is our best estimate at this time.
    Regarding ICVI costs, we noted that most States already require 
ICVIs for many interstate movements. Thus, we do not believe the 
overall volume of ICVIs issued will increase significantly as a result 
of this rule. In this final rule, the exemption that allowed other 
documentation to be used in lieu of an ICVI, provided that the shipping 
and receiving States or Tribes agreed, for cattle and bison under 18 
months of age moving interstate has been extended to cover all ages and 
classes of cattle and bison. This revision will likely make the 
potential increase in the volume of ICVIs issued less than originally 
anticipated.
    One commenter, citing a study on the cost of tagging, asserted that 
the likely cost of the proposed rule to producers would range from $1.2 
billion to $1.9 billion.
    The commenter cited testimony before the U.S. International Trade 
Commission (ITC). We believe that the costs described in that testimony 
included activities not associated with the provisions of the proposed 
rule. The estimated costs per calf cited in the U.S. ITC testimony 
included $5 for tags, data management, and verification; $7 for working 
calves, tag placement, and documentation; and $8 for feedlot and 
harvest data collection and chute fees. The U.S. ITC testimony cited 
estimated losses due to shrinkage as $10 to $20 in lost income 
potential per calf. The U.S. ITC testimony was also based on an 
electronic animal identification system involving data management and 
verification activities at the producer level.
    We are not disputing the cost factors for the practices referenced 
in the U.S. ITC report. However, we do not believe they reflect 
management practices necessary for producers to comply with the 
identification requirements of the traceability rule and, therefore, do 
not believe those cost factors are applicable in our economic analysis.
    Commenters stated that we ignored the cost to distribute official 
identification devices and collect and maintain data on people 
receiving them and animals moved with them. It was stated that we also 
ignored the costs of official tags bearing the required emblem, the 
costs of replacing existing tag systems with official tags, the costs 
of equipment to read the tags, the costs of configuring corrals and 
handling facilities to allow for collection of identification 
information, and the costs associated with technology problems when 
tags are not read.
    We included information in the RIA about the cost of the tags, the 
cost of the labor to work the cattle in chutes and apply the tags, and 
the cost of the ICVI when the official identification information is 
recorded. Since the U.S. Shield has been imprinted on the NUES tags 
obtained by APHIS for disease-control programs for many years, we do 
not agree that the standardized use of the official eartag shield will 
increase the cost of official eartags. This rulemaking is designed to 
allow producers to use tags that do not require any electronic or 
special equipment to read the official eartags.
    As described in the RIA, States and Tribes would bear 
responsibility for the collection, maintenance, and retrieval of data 
on interstate livestock movements. Federal funding, as available, would 
be allocated to assist States and Tribes in meeting program goals. 
Additionally, APHIS continues to provide information systems that 
States and Tribes may elect to use at no charge.
    Some commenters stated that we underestimated the cost to producers 
of the rulemaking because we did not factor in the costs of buying 
chutes in calculating the costs of tagging.

[[Page 2059]]

    As stated previously, in the RIA, we attempted to determine only 
the costs and benefits that were associated with the provisions of the 
proposed rule. While we included estimated costs for chute operations 
for tagging, we did not include the entire costs of buying or renting 
chutes because we were only trying to determine the costs associated 
with the rule. If an operation does not currently own equipment needed 
for tagging, such as chutes, we note that tagging may take place at an 
approved tagging site. We do realize that some operations may elect to 
purchase a chute that will allow them to tag their own animals. 
However, we do not believe the investment in the chute will be made 
solely for applying the official eartags to the operation's cattle. 
Rather, the chute is likely to be used for many other management 
practices. Therefore, we believe that analyzing the cost of tagging 
animals at tagging sites provides a more reliable basis for a 
reasonable estimate of producer costs for tagging animals than would 
including the entire costs of buying or renting chutes in such an 
estimate.
    Commenters stated that we did not adequately account for the added 
costs to producers, sale barns, veterinarians, and veterinary clinics 
that would be associated with our proposed ICVI requirements.
    As mentioned previously, many States already require ICVIs for 
interstate movements of livestock covered in the traceability rule. 
Therefore, we do not believe the volume of ICVIs issued is likely to 
change significantly. We did, however attempt to account for an 
increase in these cost to producers, which was projected to be $2.0 
million to $3.8 million. In this final rule, as we have already noted, 
the exemption allowing the use of other documentation in lieu of ICVIs 
has been extended to all ages and classes of cattle and bison when 
agreed to by the receiving and shipping States and Tribes, thus 
limiting the increase in the number of ICVIs issued. If sale barns and 
veterinarians are providing services associated with the rulemaking, we 
anticipate that they would charge an appropriate price for those 
services. Costs that could be incurred by producers as a result were 
estimated in the RIA.
    One commenter stated that our RIA grossly underestimated the costs 
of ICVIs for horse owners. Another stated that the increased costs for 
the ICVI would place a greater burden on the horse industry than on the 
cattle industry because horses move more regularly.
    The RIA included information about estimated costs for equines. We 
estimated the incremental cost of an ICVI for most horses moved 
interstate to range between $4.00 and $7.50, based on the cost of 
testing for EIA. We estimated that the total additional cost for the 
equine industry could range from $8.8 million to $16.5 million, given 
the current number of EIA tests per year.
    Many commenters expressed concerns about the potential economic 
burdens on small producers and livestock markets, arguing that the 
rulemaking favored larger, vertically integrated entities.
    While APHIS is sensitive to these concerns, many commenters did not 
provide specific information to support these claims or provide 
traceability solutions that would be more cost effective. While larger, 
vertically integrated entities may realize economic benefits from the 
size of their operations, those benefits result from market forces and 
are not due to specific provisions of this rulemaking. However, in this 
final rule, we did add exemptions in response to comments from small 
poultry producers for certain movements, so as not to put such 
producers at a disadvantage. In particular, we exempted from the 
official identification requirements chicks moving interstate from a 
hatchery to a poultry producer or redistributor.
    It was stated that the rulemaking would disadvantage U.S. producers 
because they would be required to meet our traceability requirements 
when moving cattle across State lines, while we would place no such 
requirement on foreign producers.
    The official identification and documentation requirements for 
imported livestock are well established through 9 CFR part 93 and are 
not affected by this rulemaking. The requirements in part 93 are at 
least equivalent to those specified in this rulemaking, so domestic 
producers will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage.
    It was stated that the proposed rule was unfair in that it would 
only regulate interstate movement. As a result, producers may choose to 
take cattle to in-State markets that are farther away, thus incurring 
increased transportation costs, in order to avoid the cost and burden 
of the proposed requirements. Producers and markets located in the 
interiors of States may be given an unfair competitive advantage by not 
having to comply.
    We realize there are many factors that producers will consider when 
marketing their animals. While the cost of officially identifying 
animals moved interstate to a market may be considered, there are many 
other economic factors associated with marketing decisions, including, 
but not limited to, transportation costs and the availability of local 
and out-of-State buyers. Therefore, we cannot conclude that this final 
rule favors livestock markets based on their geographic location or 
distance from State borders.
    Many commenters viewed the proposed traceability program as an 
unfunded mandate. For example, it was said that State agencies would 
have to build database storage, management, and retrieval systems, 
which could strain their budgets. It was suggested that we provide 
funds to help States modernize and upgrade their data systems and train 
people to use them.
    The RIA discussed the estimated Federal funding available to 
support animal disease traceability. A significant portion of the 
budgeted funds are targeted to field implementation. However, APHIS has 
taken the position that it will not fund the development of duplicative 
information systems, as such investments cannot be justified. Rather, 
APHIS will provide information systems that the States and Tribes may 
use at no charge. If a State or Tribe elects to develop its own system, 
however, it will have to cover the cost. Federal funds, however, may be 
used for the overall administration of the local traceability 
activities.
    It was stated that our proposed traceability system would enhance 
the bargaining power of packers at the expense of producers.
    The commenters who expressed this view did not describe how the 
proposed rule would alter the relative bargaining power of packers at 
the expense of producers, and we are unable to determine how this point 
is applicable to the rulemaking.
    Many commenters noted that our RIA did not include a cost analysis 
for poultry producers.
    The RIA noted that there would be no additional costs for poultry 
enterprises that participate in the NPIP. As noted earlier, a primary 
concern about the cost of identifying individual birds, in particular 
chicks shipped from hatcheries, has been accounted for in the exemption 
from the official identification requirements for such poultry 
shipments. Likewise, it has been clarified that interstate movements to 
a custom slaughter facility are exempt from these traceability 
regulations. Poultry moved interstate to live bird markets would need 
to have an ICVI or other documentation as agreed to by the States. 
States have the option of

[[Page 2060]]

maintaining current requirements for movement documentation, in which 
case no additional costs will be incurred.
Benefits
    It was stated by some commenters that the RIA indicated that the 
primary benefits of this rulemaking would be to minimize losses and 
enable the reestablishment of foreign and domestic markets. This 
rationale was questioned. A commenter requested more detailed 
information on tuberculosis traceouts in the last 5 years and how 
animal identification has contributed to successful or unsuccessful 
traceouts. The commenter also requested data on foreign market access 
lost due to tuberculosis and brucellosis. Some other commenters stated 
that the discussion of benefits focused too much on the benefits of 
exports. It was maintained that, while exporters would likely benefit 
from the proposed rule, the costs would mainly be borne by domestic 
producers and related businesses.
    The ability of U.S. producers to export affects all producers, even 
those who do not directly sell to an international market. Trade 
restrictions lead to products intended for the export market being 
diverted to the domestic market. An increase in the supply of a product 
that otherwise may have been exported on the domestic market may lead 
to lower prices in the short run. In the event that exports cannot be 
re-established, the likely result is a smaller domestic herd.
    A commenter stated that since the potential cost-benefit ratio of 
the rule could not be determined, the costs should be borne by the 
Federal Government.
    The RIA provided our estimate of who would bear the costs and the 
amount of those costs. In cases where we cannot quantify benefits or 
costs, we have described those benefits and costs qualitatively. The 
benefits of an efficient system for tracing animal disease occurrences, 
as set forth in the proposed rule and in this document, would accrue 
directly to the livestock and meat industries and indirectly to other 
sectors of the economy.

Performance Standards

    Many commenters stated that we should not finalize the proposed 
rule until the actual traceability performance standards that States 
and Tribes would have to meet are established through rulemaking. In a 
system that would be so dependent upon the performance levels achieved 
by the States and Tribes, the current lack of performance measures, it 
was suggested, could be a barrier to successful implementation.
    We do not agree with these comments, as we believe that it would be 
premature to enact traceability performance requirements in this 
rulemaking. As noted in the preamble to the August 2011 proposed rule, 
our current thinking is that we will measure the performance of States 
and Tribes by evaluating their ability to carry out, in a timely 
manner, certain activities that animal health officials would typically 
conduct during a trace investigation of covered livestock that have 
moved interstate. The establishment of actual traceability performance 
standards, however, can only be done following review and analysis of 
actual data compiled from animal movement records after these 
regulations have been implemented. Without such information, the 
establishment of performance standards would be too subjective. 
Therefore, we maintain our initial position: We will establish the 
traceability performance standards at a later date to ensure we have 
necessary data to objectively define and establish those performance 
standards. As the rule is implemented, we will continue to work with 
States and Tribes to measure tracing capabilities resulting from these 
regulations. Comparing the results obtained earlier on and over time 
will help document the progress being made.
    One commenter stated that the discussion of the performance 
standards in the preamble to the proposed rule did not adequately 
address possible consequences for States with traceability systems that 
do not meet our goals. Several others stated that it would be 
counterproductive to place additional restrictions on producers from 
States that do not comply with our traceability standards, as was 
discussed in the preamble.
    This rulemaking does not contain any traceability performance 
standards or provisions for additional restrictions based on non-
compliance. The discussion in the preamble to the August 2011 proposed 
rule was presented as our ``current thinking,'' with the understanding 
that any performance and compliance measures will be developed with 
input from individuals and organizations that would be affected. We 
made it clear in that discussion that the performance measures will be 
developed in a separate rulemaking process.
    One commenter stated that the performance standards we ultimately 
implement should be more rigorous than the ones we discussed in the 
preamble to the proposed rule. Specifically, the commenter stated that 
3 years is too long a time to allow States to come into compliance with 
our requirements.
    As noted above, the discussion in the preamble to the proposed rule 
reflects our current thinking on performance standards. That thinking 
is likely to evolve as we accumulate more data after this final rule 
becomes effective.

Preemption

    Provisions related to preemption of State and local requirements, 
which were contained in Sec.  90.8 of the August 2011 proposed rule, 
are contained in Sec.  86.8 of this final rule.
    Some commenters stated that APHIS should not preempt any State's 
identification requirements.
    It is our view that the minimal preemption provisions provided in 
these regulations are necessary to ensure that no one State or Tribe 
can establish certain requirement for having livestock moved into their 
State or Tribe. For example, we do not believe a State should be able 
to require that all cattle entering its jurisdiction have an RFID 
eartag, nor should a receiving State be able to require a method of 
identification that is not listed as official in our regulations unless 
agreed to by the shipping State.
    It was stated that APHIS should preempt States' or Tribes' 
identification requirements, except when those requirements are 
stricter than ours. States and Tribes should be able to impose more 
strict requirements than ours, e.g., requiring the official 
identification of feeder cattle during the time they are exempt from 
the Federal regulation.
    These regulations only preempt the specific items noted in the 
preemption clause in Sec.  86.8. A State or Tribe may require official 
identification for livestock to enter its jurisdiction when these 
regulations do not, so long as that State or Tribe does not specify a 
particular official identification device or method to be used if 
multiple ones are allowed under these regulations, or to impose 
requirements that would otherwise cause the shipping State or Tribe to 
have to develop a particular kind of traceability system or modify its 
existing one.
    A commenter representing a State government expressed concern that 
that State's stricter existing official identification requirements, 
e.g., requiring official identification of all sexually intact beef 
cattle as well as all classes of dairy and rodeo cattle prior to 
importation, could be preempted under this rulemaking.

[[Page 2061]]

    As noted above, there is no provision in these regulations that 
would prevent a State from requiring official identification for cattle 
that are exempted under this rulemaking.
    While we are not making any substantive changes to the preemption 
provisions as a result of the comments we received, we are making some 
editorial changes for the sake of clarity.

Miscellaneous Comments

    Some commenters stated that the proposed rule did not address the 
two main reservoirs of cattle disease in the United States: The 
introduction of tuberculosis from imported Mexican cattle and the 
spread of brucellosis and tuberculosis from wildlife to livestock. A 
number of these commenters further stated that it was unfair for U.S. 
cattle producers to be burdened with additional requirements and costs 
when a principal cause of the resurgence of cattle diseases is cattle 
imported from Mexico.
    This rulemaking is not intended to provide methods of disease 
prevention or establish policy for international trade or wildlife 
issues. Having these traceability regulations in place will help us to 
build a uniform infrastructure of animal disease traceability that will 
aid us in disease response.
    This rulemaking is intended to put the recordkeeping responsibility 
and data in the hands of States and Tribes. States and Tribes may 
choose to use the data systems already developed by APHIS, but the data 
contained in those systems are controlled at the local level. 
Maintenance of distribution records of official identification devices 
is shared among States/Tribes, APHIS, and the private sector. For 
instance, the distribution of official AIN eartags purchased by private 
individuals is recorded in an APHIS system by the tag manufacturers and 
distributors. Other official eartags purchased with State or Tribe 
resources are recorded in databases or logs at the discretion of the 
State or Tribe. While APHIS provides NUES tags to States and Tribes, 
the States and Tribes also may obtain official identification tags from 
approved manufacturers.
    Many commenters faulted the proposed rule for not addressing 
potential liabilities to producers and associated individuals and 
entities under our traceability system. It was stated that under the 
bookend system we are attempting to implement, the person applying an 
identification tag would be the primary suspect in any disease 
traceback investigation, even if the animal was sold by that person 
well before detection of the disease.
    Our animal disease programs are not designed to find fault or 
assign blame for disease, but to find and control disease. With a 
bookend system of traceability, the point-of-origin identification 
merely provides a starting point for an epidemiological investigation 
to trace an animal forward. The identification collected at slaughter 
is a starting point for tracing the animal backward. Good 
identification and recordkeeping at the farm level can actually reduce 
the impact of a disease investigation on producers, livestock markets, 
and other entities. For example, if a producer has a record that the 
animal of interest in an investigation was tested prior to movement or 
that a herd test was conducted, the amount of time Federal, State, or 
Tribal officials may be required to spend at the farm could be 
minimized, thereby minimizing the effect on the producer's operations.
    It was stated by one commenter that our proposed traceability 
system would eliminate redundancies built into current systems and 
actually degrade, rather than enhance, traceability. The commenter did 
not offer any evidence to support that claim, however.
    The same commenter also stated that APHIS lacks the constitutional 
and statutory authority to establish a traceability system. According 
to the commenter, the language of the Animal Health Protection Act does 
not confer broad authority to mandate overt action by producers in the 
form of an animal traceability system. The commenter claimed that our 
assertion of such broad powers is contrary to Article 1, Section 8 of 
the U.S. Constitution.
    We do not agree with this comment. The Animal Health Protection Act 
authorizes the Secretary ``to prohibit or restrict the movement in 
interstate commerce of any animal, article, or means of conveyance, if 
the Secretary determines that the prohibition or restriction is 
necessary to prevent the introduction of dissemination of any pest or 
disease of livestock.'' The promulgation of regulations establishing an 
animal disease traceability system is clearly within APHIS' statutory 
authority.
    It was also maintained that the proposed rule represented an 
unauthorized attempt by APHIS to implement OIE codes and standards 
domestically.
    We do not agree with this comment. In this rulemaking, we are 
promulgating regulations that improve traceability nationally and yet 
allow the flexibility at the local level for States and Tribes to 
implement traceability solutions that work best for them.
    One commenter noted that horses are not classified as livestock by 
the Food and Drug Administration and stated that agencies need to 
decide on a single classification before traceability requirements for 
horses go into effect.
    We will not be making any changes to the final rule in response to 
this comment. Horses are classified as livestock under the Animal 
Health Protection Act, from which we derive our authority to regulate 
to protect animal health.
    A commenter pointed out a possible discrepancy in the regulations 
regarding cervid herd tuberculosis testing and reaccreditation 
intervals. In current and proposed Sec. Sec.  77.25, 77.27, and 77.29, 
reference is made to requirements for testing within 24 months of 
interstate movement. In Sec.  77.35, however, there is a reference to a 
36-month interval for herd testing for reaccreditation.
    While we did not propose any changes to the requirements for 
testing intervals in these sections, we note that the differing 
intervals to which the commenter refers are associated with testing for 
different purposes.
    A commenter representing a community of Old Order Amish opposed the 
proposed rule on religious grounds.
    The commenter would only be subject to the traceability regulations 
if moving livestock interstate, and the availability of alternate 
tagging sites would make it possible for identification practices to 
which he might object to be carried out after a change of ownership of 
the livestock. While we respect the commenter's religious beliefs, we 
do need to be able to trace animals to prevent the spread of livestock 
pests and diseases. Congress has authorized the Secretary to regulate 
animals moving interstate when necessary to prevent the spread of 
disease.
    A commenter representing a State Government stated that the 
proposed rule did not explain whether an approved livestock facility 
would be treated the same as the approved livestock markets in the 
existing regulations. The commenter maintained that cattle buying 
stations should be considered to be approved livestock facilities.
    The regulations in Sec.  71.20 use the term ``approved livestock 
facility,'' and we use the term in these regulations to provide 
consistency and a source of reference. Cattle buying stations could be 
recognized as approved livestock facilities if they are approved under 
Sec.  71.20.
    A commenter stated that a concern in Pennsylvania about the 
proposed rule was that the proposed traceability plan

[[Page 2062]]

would revert to older, more conventional technologies, such as metal 
tags and paper. Pennsylvania already uses RFID technology and has a 
rather sophisticated electronic database system. The commenter 
questioned how APHIS' proposed system would mesh with the electronic 
system that currently works very well in the State.
    This rulemaking does not prohibit the use of RFID technology and 
electronic records. No State can deny entry to animals identified with 
electronic eartags and accompanied by electronic records if they met 
the standards provided for in these regulations. The regulations do, 
however, prohibit a State or Tribe from mandating the use of RFID or 
electronic records, or any other specific technology, for animals 
moving into their jurisdiction.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the proposed rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the proposed rule as a final rule, with the 
changes discussed in this document.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This final rule has been determined to be significant for the 
purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by 
the Office of Management and Budget.
    We have prepared an economic analysis for this rule. The economic 
analysis provides a cost-benefit analysis, as required by Executive 
Orders 12866 and 13563, which direct agencies to assess all costs and 
benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is 
necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits 
(including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety 
effects, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance 
of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of 
harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. The economic analysis 
also provides a final regulatory flexibility analysis that examines the 
potential economic effects of this rule on small entities, as required 
by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The economic analysis is summarized 
below. Copies of the full analysis are available on the Regulations.gov 
Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a link to 
Regulations.gov) or by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.
    We are establishing general traceability regulations for certain 
livestock moving interstate. The purpose of this rulemaking is to 
improve APHIS' ability to trace such livestock in the event disease is 
found. The benefits of this rulemaking are expected to exceed the costs 
overall.
    While the rule applies to cattle and bison, horses and other equine 
species, poultry, sheep and goats, swine, and captive cervids, the 
focus of this analysis is on expected economic effects for the beef and 
dairy cattle industries. These enterprises are likely to be most 
affected operationally by the rule. For the other species, APHIS will 
largely maintain and build on the identification requirements of 
existing disease program regulations.
    Costs for cattle producers are estimated in terms of activities 
that will need to be conducted for official animal identification and 
issuance of an ICVI, or other movement documentation, for livestock 
moved interstate. Incremental costs incurred are expected to vary 
depending upon a number of factors, including whether an enterprise 
does or does not already use eartags to identify individual cattle. For 
many operators, costs of official animal identification and ICVIs will 
be similar, respectively, to costs associated with current animal 
identification practices and the inshipment documentation currently 
required by individual States. Existing expenditures for these 
activities represent cost baselines for the private sector. To the 
extent that official animal identification and ICVIs will simply 
replace current requirements, the incremental costs of the rule for 
private enterprises will be minimal.
    There are two main cost components for this rule: Using eartags to 
identify cattle and having ICVIs for cattle moved interstate. 
Approximately 20 percent of cattle are not currently eartagged as part 
of routine management practices, and an estimated 45 percent of cattle 
are identified for management purposes other than by using official 
identification. Annual incremental costs of official identification for 
cattle enterprises are estimated to total from $12.5 million to $30.5 
million, assuming producers who are not already using official 
identification will tag their cattle as an activity separate from other 
routine management practices. More likely, some producers who are not 
already using official eartags can be expected to combine tagging with 
other routine activities such as vaccination or de-worming, thereby 
avoiding the costs associated with working cattle through a chute an 
additional time. Under this second scenario, the total incremental cost 
of official identification will range from $8.9 million to $19.7 
million. After considering public comments, we have increased the 
estimated cost of this second scenario. We recognize that all producers 
may not combine tagging with other management activities and therefore 
some will continue to incur higher costs.
    All States currently require a certificate of veterinary 
inspection, commonly referred to as a health certificate, for the 
inshipment from other States of breeder cattle, and 48 States require 
one for feeder cattle. Annual incremental costs of the rule for ICVI's 
are estimated to range between $2 million and $3.8 million. If States 
currently requiring documentation other than ICVIs, such as owner-
shipper statements or brand certificates, continue to accept these 
documents in lieu of an ICVI, as permitted by this rule, the ICVI 
requirement in this rule will not result in any additional costs.
    The combined annual costs of the rule for cattle operations of 
official identification and movement documentation will range between 
$14.5 million and $34.3 million, assuming official identification will 
be undertaken separately from other routine management practices; or 
between $10.9 million and $23.5 million, assuming that some producers 
will combine tagging with other routine management practices that 
require working cattle through a chute.
    Currently, States and Tribes bear responsibilities for the 
collection, maintenance, and retrieval of data on interstate livestock 
movements. These responsibilities will be maintained under this 
rulemaking, but the way they are administered will likely change. Based 
on availability, Federal funding will be allocated to assist States and 
Tribes as necessary in automating data collection, maintenance, and 
retrieval to advance animal disease traceability.
    Direct benefits of improved traceability include the public and 
private cost savings expected to be gained under the rule. Case studies 
for bovine tuberculosis, bovine brucellosis, and BSE illustrate the 
inefficiencies currently often faced in tracing disease occurrences due 
to inadequate animal identification and the potential gains in terms of 
cost savings that may derive from the rule.
    Benefits of the traceability system are for the most part potential 
benefits that rest on largely unknown probabilities of disease 
occurrence and reactions by domestic and foreign markets. The primary 
benefit of the regulations will be the enhanced ability of the United 
States to regionalize and compartmentalize animal health issues more 
quickly, minimizing losses and enabling reestablishment of foreign and 
domestic market access with minimum delay in the wake of an animal 
disease event.

[[Page 2063]]

    Having a traceability system in place will allow the United States 
to trace animal disease more quickly and efficiently, thereby 
minimizing not only the spread of disease but also the trade impacts an 
outbreak may have. The value of U.S. exports of live cattle in 2010 was 
$131.8 million, and the value of U.S. beef exports totaled $2.8 
billion. The value of U.S. cattle and calf production in 2009 was $31.8 
billion. The estimated incremental costs of the rule for cattle 
enterprises--between $14.5 million and $34.3 million, assuming official 
identification is a separately performed activity, and between $10.9 
million and $23.5 million, assuming some official identification is 
combined by some operations with other routine management practices 
that require working cattle through a chute--represent about one-tenth 
of one percent of the value of domestic cattle and calf production. If 
there were an animal disease outbreak in the United States that 
affected our domestic and international beef markets, preservation of 
only a very small proportion of these markets would justify estimated 
private sector costs attributable to the animal disease traceability 
program.
    Most cattle operations in the United States are small entities. 
USDA will ensure the rule's workability and cost effectiveness by 
collaborating in its implementation with representatives from States, 
Tribes, and affected industries.

Executive Order 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 13175

    In accordance with Executive Order 13175, APHIS has consulted with 
Tribal Government officials. A tribal summary impact statement, 
published concurrently with the August 2011 proposed rule, includes a 
summary of Tribal officials' concerns and of how APHIS has attempted to 
address them.
    Copies of the tribal impact summary statement are available by 
contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or 
on the Regulations.gov Web site (see footnote 1 in this document for a 
link to Regulations.gov).

Executive Order 12988

    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts State and local laws and 
regulations that are in conflict with this rule, as provided in Sec.  
86.8; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require 
administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court 
challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This final rule contains two information collection requirements 
that were not included in the proposed rule. Specifically, in response 
to comments we received on the proposed rule, this final rule allows 
States and Tribes to use eartags with their State or Tribal code 
printed inside an official eartag shield. The rule also includes an 
ICVI-related recordkeeping requirement for accredited veterinarians 
that was not noted in the proposed rule. Notwithstanding these 
additional requirements, the total paperwork burden is reduced from 
what we determined it to be in the proposed rule because we did not 
adequately account for the increasing use by States of electronic 
recordkeeping for ICVIs and, as a result, overestimated the ICVI 
reporting burden for the States. In accordance with section 3507(d) of 
the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this 
information collection requirement has been submitted for approval to 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). When OMB notifies us of its 
decision, we will publish a document in the Federal Register providing 
notice of the assigned OMB control number or, if approval is denied, 
providing notice of what action we plan to take.

List of Subjects

9 CFR Parts 71, 77, and 78

    Animal diseases, Bison, Cattle, Hogs, Livestock, Poultry and 
poultry products, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Transportation, Tuberculosis.

9 CFR Part 86

    Animal diseases, Bison, Cattle, Interstate movement, Livestock, 
Official identification, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, 
Traceability.

    Accordingly, we are amending 9 CFR chapter I as follows:

PART 71--GENERAL PROVISIONS

0
1. The authority citation for part 71 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


0
2. Section 71.1 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), group/lot identification number (GIN), 
livestock, official eartag, official identification device or method, 
and premises identification number (PIN), removing the definitions of 
moved (movement) in interstate commerce and United States Department of 
Agriculture Backtag, and adding definitions of flock-based number 
system, flock identification number (FIN), move, National Uniform 
Eartagging System (NUES), official eartag shield, official 
identification number, and United States Department of Agriculture 
(USDA) approved backtag in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  71.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States that 
provides a nationally unique identification number for each animal. The 
AIN consists of 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code (840 
for the United States or a unique country code for any U.S. territory 
that has such a code and elects to use it in place of the 840 code). 
The alpha characters USA or the numeric code assigned to the 
manufacturer of the identification device by the International 
Committee on Animal Recording may be used as an alternative to the 840 
or other prefix representing a U.S territory; however, only the AIN 
beginning with the 840 or other prefix representing a U.S. territory 
will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags applied to animals 
on or after March 11, 2015. The AIN beginning with the 840 prefix may 
not be applied to animals known to have been born outside the United 
States.
* * * * *
    Flock-based number system. The flock-based number system combines a 
flock identification number (FIN) with a producer's unique livestock 
production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
identification number for an animal.
    Flock identification number (FIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, or Federal animal health authority to a 
group of animals that are managed as a unit on one or more premises and 
are under the same ownership.
* * * * *
    Group/lot identification number (GIN). The identification number 
used to uniquely identify a ``unit of animals'' of the same species 
that is managed together as one group throughout the

[[Page 2064]]

preharvest production chain. When a GIN is used, it is recorded on 
documents accompanying the animals moving interstate; it is not 
necessary to have the GIN attached to each animal.
* * * * *
    Livestock. All farm-raised animals.
* * * * *
    Move. To carry, enter, import, mail, ship, or transport; to aid, 
abet, cause, or induce carrying, entering, importing, mailing, 
shipping, or transporting; to offer to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; to receive in order to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; or to allow any of these activities.
    National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES). A numbering system for 
the official identification of individual animals in the United States 
that provides a nationally unique identification number for each 
animal.
* * * * *
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS that bears 
an official identification number for individual animals. Beginning 
March 11, 2014, all official eartags manufactured must bear an official 
eartag shield. Beginning March 11, 2015, all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear an official eartag shield. The design, size, 
shape, color, and other characteristics of the official eartag will 
depend on the needs of the users, subject to the approval of the 
Administrator. The official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a 
high retention rate in the animal.
    Official eartag shield. The shield[hyphen]shaped graphic of the 
U.S. Route Shield with ``U.S.'' or the State postal abbreviation or 
Tribal alpha code imprinted within the shield.
    Official identification device or method. A means approved by the 
Administrator of applying an official identification number to an 
animal of a specific species or associating an official identification 
number with an animal or group of animals of a specific species.
    Official identification number. A nationally unique number that is 
permanently associated with an animal or group of animals and that 
adheres to one of the following systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES).
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN).
    (3) Location-based number system.
    (4) Flock-based number system.
    (5) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the official identification of animals.
* * * * *
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to 
a premises that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or 
Federal animal health authority a geographically distinct location from 
other premises. The PIN may be used in conjunction with a producer's 
own unique livestock production numbering system to provide a 
nationally unique and herd-unique identification number for an animal. 
It may be used as a component of a group/lot identification number 
(GIN).
* * * * *
    United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved backtag. A 
backtag issued by APHIS that provides a temporary unique identification 
for each animal.


Sec.  71.18  [Removed and Reserved]

0
3. Section 71.18 is removed and reserved.


Sec.  71.19  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  71.19, paragraphs (b)(2) and (d) introductory text are 
amended by removing the words ``United States Department of Agriculture 
backtags'' and adding the words ``United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) approved backtag'' in their place each time they 
occur.


Sec.  71.22  [Removed and Reserved]

0
5. Section 71.22 is removed and reserved.

PART 77--TUBERCULOSIS

0
6. The authority citation for part 77 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


0
7. Section 77.2 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), livestock, official eartag, and premises 
identification number (PIN), removing the definitions of certificate, 
moved, moved directly, and premises of origin identification, and 
adding definitions of directly, interstate certificate of veterinary 
inspection (ICVI), location-based numbering system, location 
identification (LID) number, move, National Uniform Eartagging System 
(NUES), official eartag shield, official identification number, 
recognized slaughtering establishment, and United States Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) approved backtag in alphabetical order to read as 
follows:


Sec.  77.2  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States that 
provides a nationally unique identification number for each animal. The 
AIN consists of 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code (840 
for the United States or a unique country code for any U.S. territory 
that has such a code and elects to use it in place of the 840 code). 
The alpha characters USA or the numeric code assigned to the 
manufacturer of the identification device by the International 
Committee on Animal Recording may be used as an alternative to the 840 
or other prefix representing a U.S territory; however, only the AIN 
beginning with the 840 or other prefix representing a U.S. territory 
will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags applied to animals 
on or after March 11, 2015. The AIN beginning with the 840 prefix may 
not be applied to animals known to have been born outside the United 
States.
* * * * *
    Directly. Moved in a means of conveyance, without stopping to 
unload while en route, except for stops of less than 24 hours to feed, 
water, or rest the animals being moved, and with no commingling of 
animals at such stops.
* * * * *
    Interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI). An official 
document issued by a Federal, State, Tribal, or accredited veterinarian 
certifying the inspection of animals in preparation for interstate 
movement.
    (a) The ICVI must show the species of animals covered by the ICVI; 
the number of animals covered by the ICVI; the purpose for which the 
animals are to be moved; the address at which the animals were loaded 
for interstate movement; the address to which the animals are destined; 
and the names of the consignor and the consignee and their addresses if 
different from the address at which the animals were loaded or the 
address to which the animals are destined. Additionally, unless the 
species-specific requirements for ICVIs provide an exception, the ICVI 
must list the official identification number of each animal, except as 
provided in paragraph (b) of this definition, or group of animals moved 
that is required to be officially identified, or, if an alternative 
form of identification has been agreed upon by the sending and 
receiving States, the ICVI must include a record of that 
identification. If animals moving under a GIN also have individual 
official identification, only the GIN must be listed on the ICVI. An 
ICVI may not be issued for any animal that is not officially identified 
if official

[[Page 2065]]

identification is required. If the animals are not required by the 
regulations to be officially identified, the ICVI must state the 
exemption that applies (e.g., the cattle and bison do not belong to one 
of the classes of cattle and bison to which the official identification 
requirements of 9 CFR part 86 apply). If the animals are required to be 
officially identified but the identification number does not have to be 
recorded on the ICVI, the ICVI must state that all animals to be moved 
under the ICVI are officially identified.
    (b) As an alternative to typing or writing individual animal 
identification on an ICVI, if agreed to by the receiving State or 
Tribe, another document may be used to provide this information, but 
only under the following conditions:
    (1) The document must be a State form or APHIS form that requires 
individual identification of animals or a printout of official 
identification numbers generated by computer or other means;
    (2) A legible copy of the document must be stapled to the original 
and each copy of the ICVI;
    (3) Each copy of the document must identify each animal to be moved 
with the ICVI, but any information pertaining to other animals, and any 
unused space on the document for recording animal identification, must 
be crossed out in ink; and
    (4) The following information must be written in ink in the 
identification column on the original and each copy of the ICVI and 
must be circled or boxed, also in ink, so that no additional 
information can be added:
    (i) The name of the document; and
    (ii) Either the unique serial number on the document or, if the 
document is not imprinted with a serial number, both the name of the 
person who prepared the document and the date the document was signed.
    Livestock. All farm-raised animals.
    Location-based numbering system. The location-based number system 
combines a State or Tribal issued location identification (LID) number 
or a premises identification number (PIN) with a producer's unique 
livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
and herd-unique identification number for an animal.
    Location identification (LID) number. A nationally unique number 
issued by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to a 
location as determined by the State or Tribe in which it is issued. The 
LID number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own unique 
livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
and herd-unique identification number for an animal. It may also be 
used as a component of a group/lot identification number (GIN).
    Move. To carry, enter, import, mail, ship, or transport; to aid, 
abet, cause, or induce carrying, entering, importing, mailing, 
shipping, or transporting; to offer to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; to receive in order to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; or to allow any of these activities.
    National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES). A numbering system for 
the official identification of individual animals in the United States 
that provides a nationally unique identification number for each 
animal.
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS that bears 
an official identification number for individual animals. Beginning 
March 11, 2014, all official eartags manufactured must bear an official 
eartag shield. Beginning March 11, 2015, all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear an official eartag shield. The design, size, 
shape, color, and other characteristics of the official eartag will 
depend on the needs of the users, subject to the approval of the 
Administrator. The official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a 
high retention rate in the animal.
    Official eartag shield. The shield[hyphen]shaped graphic of the 
U.S. Route Shield with ``U.S.'' or the State postal abbreviation or 
Tribal alpha code imprinted within the shield.
    Official identification number. A nationally unique number that is 
permanently associated with an animal or group of animals and that 
adheres to one of the following systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES).
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN).
    (3) Flock-based number system.
    (4) Location-based number system.
    (5) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the official identification of animals.
* * * * *
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to 
a premises that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or 
Federal animal health authority a geographically distinct location from 
other premises. The PIN may be used in conjunction with a producer's 
own livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally 
unique and herd-unique identification number for an animal. It may be 
used as a component of a group/lot identification number (GIN).
    Recognized slaughtering establishment. Any slaughtering facility 
operating under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), or 
State meat or poultry inspection acts that is approved in accordance 
with 9 CFR 71.21.
* * * * *
    United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved backtag. A 
backtag issued by APHIS that provides a temporary unique identification 
for each animal.
* * * * *


0
8. Section 77.5 is amended by removing the definition of approved 
slaughtering establishment and adding a definition of recognized 
slaughtering establishment in alphabetical order to read as follows:


Sec.  77.5  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Recognized slaughtering establishment. Any slaughtering facility 
operating under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), or 
State meat or poultry inspection acts that is approved in accordance 
with 9 CFR 71.21.
* * * * *


0
9. Section 77.8 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.8  Interstate movement from accredited-free States and zones.

    Cattle or bison that originate in an accredited-free State or zone 
may be moved interstate in accordance with 9 CFR part 86 without 
further restriction under this part.


0
10. Section 77.10 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.10  Interstate movement from modified accredited advanced 
States and zones.

    Cattle or bison that originate in a modified accredited advanced 
State or zone, and that are not known to be infected with or exposed to 
tuberculosis, may be moved interstate only in accordance with 9 CFR 
part 86 and, if moved anywhere other than directly to slaughter at a 
recognized slaughtering establishment, under one of the following 
additional conditions:
    (a) The cattle or bison are sexually intact heifers moved to an 
approved feedlot, or are steers or spayed heifers, and are officially 
identified.
    (b) The cattle or bison are from an accredited herd, are officially 
identified, and are accompanied by an ICVI stating

[[Page 2066]]

that the accredited herd completed the testing necessary for accredited 
status with negative results within 1 year prior to the date of 
movement.
    (c) The cattle or bison are sexually intact animals; are not from 
an accredited herd; are officially identified; and are accompanied by 
an ICVI stating that they were negative to an official tuberculin test 
conducted within 60 days prior to the date of movement.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
numbers 0579-0146, 0579-0220, and 0579-0229)


0
11. Section 77.12 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.12  Interstate movement from modified accredited States and 
zones.

    Cattle or bison that originate in a modified accredited State or 
zone, and that are not known to be infected with or exposed to 
tuberculosis, may be moved interstate only in accordance with 9 CFR 
part 86 and, if moved anywhere other than directly to slaughter at a 
recognized slaughtering establishment, under one of the following 
additional conditions:
    (a) The cattle or bison are sexually intact heifers moved to an 
approved feedlot, or are steers or spayed heifers; are officially 
identified, and are accompanied by an ICVI stating that they were 
classified negative to an official tuberculin test conducted within 60 
days prior to the date of movement.
    (b) The cattle or bison are from an accredited herd, are officially 
identified, and are accompanied by an ICVI stating that the accredited 
herd completed the testing necessary for accredited status with 
negative results within 1 year prior to the date of movement.
    (c) The cattle or bison are sexually intact animals; are not from 
an accredited herd; are officially identified; and are accompanied by 
an ICVI stating that the herd from which they originated was negative 
to a whole herd test conducted within 1 year prior to the date of 
movement and that the individual animals to be moved were negative to 
an additional official tuberculin test conducted within 60 days prior 
to the date of movement, except that the additional test is not 
required if the animals are moved interstate within 60 days following 
the whole herd test.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0146)


0
12. Section 77.14 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.14  Interstate movement from accreditation preparatory States 
and zones.

    Cattle or bison that originate in an accreditation preparatory 
State or zone, and that are not known to be infected with or exposed to 
tuberculosis, may be moved interstate only in accordance with 9 CFR 
part 86 and, if moved anywhere other than directly to slaughter at a 
recognized slaughtering establishment, under one of the following 
additional conditions:
    (a) The cattle or bison are sexually intact heifers moved to an 
approved feedlot, or are steers or spayed heifers; are officially 
identified; and are accompanied by an ICVI stating that the herd from 
which they originated was negative to a whole herd test conducted 
within 1 year prior to the date of movement and that the individual 
animals to be moved were negative to an additional official tuberculin 
test conducted within 60 days prior to the date of movement; Except 
that: The additional test is not required if the animals are moved 
interstate within 6 months following the whole herd test.
    (b) The cattle or bison are from an accredited herd; are officially 
identified; and are accompanied by an ICVI stating that the accredited 
herd completed the testing necessary for accredited status with 
negative results within 1 year prior to the date of movement and that 
the animals to be moved were negative to an official tuberculin test 
conducted within 60 days prior to the date of movement.
    (c) The cattle or bison are sexually intact animals; are not from 
an accredited herd; are officially identified; and are accompanied by 
an ICVI stating that the herd from which they originated was negative 
to a whole herd test conducted within 1 year prior to the date of 
movement and that the individual animals to be moved were negative to 
two additional official tuberculin tests conducted at least 60 days 
apart and no more than 6 months apart, with the second test conducted 
within 60 days prior to the date of movement; Except that: The second 
additional test is not required if the animals are moved interstate 
within 60 days following the whole herd test.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0146)


Sec.  77.16  [Amended]

0
13. Section 77.16 is amended by removing the words ``an approved'' and 
adding the words ``a recognized'' in their place.


Sec.  77.17  [Amended]


0
14. Section 77.17 is amended as follows:
0
a. In paragraphs (a) introductory text and (b) introductory text, by 
removing the words ``an approved'' and adding the words ``a 
recognized'' in their place.
0
b. In paragraph (a)(4), by removing the words ``transportation 
document'' and adding the words ``VS Form 1-27'' in their place.
0
c. In paragraph (c), by removing the words ``to an approved 
slaughtering establishment'' and adding the words ``to a recognized 
slaughtering establishment in accordance with 9 CFR part 86'' in their 
place.
0
15. Section 77.23 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.23  Interstate movement from accredited-free States and zones.

    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this part, captive cervids 
that originate in an accredited-free State or zone may be moved 
interstate in accordance with 9 CFR part 86 and without further 
restriction under this part.


0
16. Section 77.25 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.25  Interstate movement from modified accredited advanced 
States and zones.

    Captive cervids that originate in a modified accredited advanced 
State or zone, and that are not known to be infected with or exposed to 
tuberculosis, may be moved interstate only in accordance with 9 CFR 
part 86 and, if moved anywhere other than directly to slaughter at a 
recognized slaughtering establishment, under one of the following 
additional conditions:
    (a) The captive cervids are from an accredited herd, qualified 
herd, or monitored herd; are officially identified; and are accompanied 
by an ICVI stating that the herd completed the requirements for 
accredited herd, qualified herd, or monitored herd status within 24 
months prior to the date of movement.
    (b) The captive cervids are officially identified and are 
accompanied by an ICVI stating that they were negative to an official 
tuberculin test conducted within 90 days prior to the date of movement.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0146)

0
17. Section 77.27 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.27  Interstate movement from modified accredited States and 
zones.

    Except for captive cervids from a qualified herd or monitored herd, 
as provided in Sec. Sec.  77.36 and 77.37, respectively, captive 
cervids that originate in a modified accredited State or zone, and that 
are not known to be

[[Page 2067]]

infected with or exposed to tuberculosis, may be moved interstate only 
in accordance with 9 CFR part 86 and, if moved anywhere other than 
directly to slaughter at a recognized slaughtering establishment, under 
one of the following additional conditions:
    (a) The captive cervids are from an accredited herd, are officially 
identified, and are accompanied by an ICVI stating that the accredited 
herd completed the testing necessary for accredited status with 
negative results within 24 months prior to the date of movement.
    (b) The captive cervids are sexually intact animals; are not from 
an accredited herd; are officially identified; and are accompanied by 
an ICVI stating that the herd from which they originated was negative 
to a whole herd test conducted within 1 year prior to the date of 
movement and that the individual animals to be moved were negative to 
an additional official tuberculin test conducted within 90 days prior 
to the date of movement; Except that: The additional test is not 
required if the animals are moved interstate within 6 months following 
the whole herd test.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0146)


0
18. Section 77.29 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.29  Interstate movement from accreditation preparatory States 
and zones.

    Except for captive cervids from a qualified herd or monitored herd, 
as provided in Sec. Sec.  77.36 and 77.37, respectively, captive 
cervids that originate in an accreditation preparatory State or zone, 
and that are not known to be infected with or exposed to tuberculosis, 
may be moved interstate only in accordance with 9 CFR part 86 and, if 
moved anywhere other than directly to slaughter at a recognized 
slaughtering establishment, under one of the following additional 
conditions:
    (a) The captive cervids are from an accredited herd; are officially 
identified; and are accompanied by an ICVI stating that the accredited 
herd completed the testing necessary for accredited status with 
negative results within 24 months prior to the date of movement and 
that the individual animals to be moved were negative to an official 
tuberculin test conducted within 90 days prior to the date of movement.
    (b) The captive cervids are sexually intact animals; are not from 
an accredited herd; are officially identified; and are accompanied by 
an ICVI stating that the herd from which they originated was negative 
to a whole herd test conducted within 1 year prior to the date of 
movement and that the individual animals to be moved were negative to 
two additional official tuberculin tests conducted at least 90 days 
apart and no more than 6 months apart, with the second test conducted 
within 90 days prior to the date of movement; Except that: The second 
additional test is not required if the animals are moved interstate 
within 6 months following the whole herd test.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0146)

Sec.  77.31  [Amended]

0
19. Section 77.31 is amended by removing the words ``an approved'' and 
adding the words ``a recognized'' in their place.


Sec.  77.32  [Amended]

0
20. Section 77.32 is amended as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a), by removing the words ``Sec. Sec.  77.25(a), 
77.27(a), 77.29(a), and 77.31(d)'' and adding the words ``9 CFR part 
86'' in their place.
0
b. In paragraph (c), by removing the words ``accompanied by a 
certificate'' and adding the words ``officially identified and 
accompanied by an ICVI'' in their place.
0
21. In Sec.  77.35, paragraph (b) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  77.35  Interstate movement from accredited herds.

* * * * *
    (b) Movement allowed. Except as provided in Sec.  77.23 with regard 
to captive cervids that originate in an accredited-free State or zone, 
and except as provided in Sec.  77.31 with regard to captive cervids 
that originate in a nonaccredited State or zone, a captive cervid from 
an accredited herd may be moved interstate without further tuberculosis 
testing only if it is officially identified and is accompanied by an 
ICVI, as provided in Sec.  77.32(c), that includes a statement that the 
captive cervid is from an accredited herd. If a group of captive 
cervids from an accredited herd is being moved interstate together to 
the same destination, all captive cervids in the group may be moved 
under one ICVI.
* * * * *

0
22. In Sec.  77.36, paragraphs (b)(2), (b)(3), and (b)(4) are revised 
to read as follows:


Sec.  77.36  Interstate movement from qualified herds.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) The captive cervid is officially identified and is accompanied 
by an ICVI, as provided in Sec.  77.32(c), that includes a statement 
that the captive cervid is from a qualified herd. Except as provided in 
paragraphs (b)(3) and (b)(4) of this section, the ICVI must also state 
that the captive cervid has tested negative to an official tuberculosis 
test conducted within 90 days prior to the date of movement. If a group 
of captive cervids from a qualified herd is being moved interstate 
together to the same destination, all captive cervids in the group may 
be moved under one ICVI.
    (3) Captive cervids under 1 year of age that are natural additions 
to the qualified herd or that were born in and originate from a 
classified herd may move without testing, provided that they are 
officially identified and that the ICVI accompanying them states that 
the captive cervids are natural additions to the qualified herd or were 
born in and originated from a classified herd and have not been exposed 
to captive cervids from an unclassified herd.
    (4) Captive cervids being moved interstate for the purpose of 
exhibition only may be moved without testing, provided they are 
returned to the premises of origin no more than 90 days after leaving 
the premises, have no contact with other livestock during movement and 
exhibition, are officially identified, and are accompanied by an ICVI 
that includes a statement that the captive cervid is from a qualified 
herd and will otherwise meet the requirements of this paragraph.
* * * * *

0
23. In Sec.  77.37, paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) are revised to read as 
follows:


Sec.  77.37  Interstate movement from monitored herds.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) The captive cervid is officially identified and is accompanied 
by an ICVI, as provided in Sec.  77.32(c), that includes a statement 
that the captive cervid is from a monitored herd. Except as provided in 
paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the ICVI must also state that the 
captive cervid has tested negative to an official tuberculosis test 
conducted within 90 days prior to the date of movement. If a group of 
captive cervids from a monitored herd is being moved interstate 
together to the same destination, all captive cervids in the group may 
be moved under one ICVI.
    (3) Captive cervids under 1 year of age that are natural additions 
to the monitored herd or that were born in and originate from a 
classified herd may move without testing, provided that they are 
officially identified and that the ICVI accompanying them states that 
the captive cervids are natural additions to the monitored herd or were 
born in and

[[Page 2068]]

originated from a classified herd and have not been exposed to captive 
cervids from an unclassified herd.
* * * * *


Sec.  77.40  [Amended]


0
24. In Sec.  77.40, paragraph (a)(3) is amended by removing the words 
``an approved'' and adding the words ``a recognized'' in their place.

PART 78--BRUCELLOSIS

0
25. The authority citation for part 78 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


0
26. Section 78.1 is amended by revising the definitions of animal 
identification number (AIN), dairy cattle, directly, market cattle 
identification test cattle, official eartag, officially identified, and 
recognized slaughtering establishment, removing the definitions of 
certificate, official identification device or method, and rodeo bulls, 
and adding definitions of commuter herd, commuter herd agreement, 
interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI), location-based 
numbering system, location identification (LID) number, National 
Uniform Eartagging System (NUES), official eartag shield, official 
identification number, and rodeo cattle in alphabetical order to read 
as follows:


Sec.  78.1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States that 
provides a nationally unique identification number for each animal. The 
AIN consists of 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code (840 
for the United States or a unique country code for any U.S. territory 
that has such a code and elects to use it in place of the 840 code). 
The alpha characters USA or the numeric code assigned to the 
manufacturer of the identification device by the International 
Committee on Animal Recording may be used as an alternative to the 840 
or other prefix representing a U.S territory; however, only the AIN 
beginning with the 840 or other prefix representing a U.S. territory 
will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags applied to animals 
on or after March 11, 2015. The AIN beginning with the 840 prefix may 
not be applied to animals known to have been born outside the United 
States.
* * * * *
    Commuter herd. A herd of cattle or bison moved interstate during 
the course of normal livestock management operations and without change 
of ownership directly between two premises, as provided in a commuter 
herd agreement.
    Commuter herd agreement. A written agreement between the owner(s) 
of a herd of cattle or bison and the animal health officials for the 
States or Tribes of origin and destination specifying the conditions 
required for the interstate movement from one premises to another in 
the course of normal livestock management operations and specifying the 
time period, up to 1 year, that the agreement is effective. A commuter 
herd agreement may be renewed annually.
* * * * *
    Dairy cattle. All cattle, regardless of age or sex or current use, 
that are of a breed(s) used to produce milk or other dairy products for 
human consumption, including, but not limited to, Ayrshire, Brown 
Swiss, Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn, and Red and 
Whites.
* * * * *
    Directly. Moved in a means of conveyance, without stopping to 
unload while en route, except for stops of less than 24 hours to feed, 
water or rest the animals being moved, and with no commingling of 
animals at such stops.
* * * * *
    Interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI). An official 
document issued by a Federal, State, Tribal, or accredited veterinarian 
certifying the inspection of animals in preparation for interstate 
movement.
    (1) The ICVI must show the species of animals covered by the ICVI; 
the number of animals covered by the ICVI; the purpose for which the 
animals are to be moved; the address at which the animals were loaded 
for interstate movement; the address to which the animals are destined; 
and the names of the consignor and the consignee and their addresses if 
different from the address at which the animals were loaded or the 
address to which the animals are destined. Additionally, unless the 
species-specific requirements for ICVIs provide an exception, the ICVI 
must list the official identification number of each animal, except as 
provided in paragraph (2) of this definition, or group of animals moved 
that is required to be officially identified, or, if an alternative 
form of identification has been agreed upon by the sending and 
receiving States, the ICVI must include a record of that 
identification. If animals moving under a GIN also have individual 
official identification, only the GIN must be listed on the ICVI. An 
ICVI may not be issued for any animal that is not officially identified 
if official identification is required. If the animals are not required 
by the regulations to be officially identified, the ICVI must state the 
exemption that applies (e.g., the cattle and bison do not belong to one 
of the classes of cattle and bison to which the official identification 
requirements of 9 CFR part 86 apply). If the animals are required to be 
officially identified but the identification number does not have to be 
recorded on the ICVI, the ICVI must state that all animals to be moved 
under the ICVI are officially identified.
    (2) As an alternative to typing or writing individual animal 
identification on an ICVI, if agreed to by the receiving State or 
Tribe, another document may be used to provide this information, but 
only under the following conditions:
    (i) The document must be a State form or APHIS form that requires 
individual identification of animals or a printout of official 
identification numbers generated by computer or other means;
    (ii) A legible copy of the document must be stapled to the original 
and each copy of the ICVI;
    (iii) Each copy of the document must identify each animal to be 
moved with the ICVI, but any information pertaining to other animals, 
and any unused space on the document for recording animal 
identification, must be crossed out in ink; and
    (iv) The following information must be written in ink in the 
identification column on the original and each copy of the ICVI and 
must be circled or boxed, also in ink, so that no additional 
information can be added:
    (A) The name of the document; and
    (B) Either the unique serial number on the document or, if the 
document is not imprinted with a serial number, both the name of the 
person who prepared the document and the date the document was signed.
    Location-based number system. The location-based number system 
combines a State or Tribal issued location identification (LID) number 
or a premises identification number (PIN) with a producer's unique 
livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
and herd-unique identification number for an animal.
    Location identification (LID) number. A nationally unique number 
issued by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to a 
location as determined by the State or Tribe in which it is issued. The 
LID number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own unique 
livestock production numbering system to

[[Page 2069]]

provide a nationally unique and herd-unique identification number for 
an animal. It may also be used as a component of a group/lot 
identification number (GIN).
    Market cattle identification test cattle. Cows and bulls 18 months 
of age or over which have been moved to recognized slaughtering 
establishments, and test-eligible cattle which are subjected to an 
official test for the purposes of movement at farms, ranches, auction 
markets, stockyards, quarantined feedlots, or other assembly points. 
Such cattle must be identified with an official identification device 
as specified in Sec.  86.4(a) of this chapter prior to or at the first 
market, stockyard, quarantined feedlot, or slaughtering establishment 
they reach.
* * * * *
    National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES). A numbering system for 
the official identification of individual animals in the United States 
that provides a nationally unique identification number for each 
animal.
* * * * *
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS that bears 
an official identification number for individual animals. Beginning 
March 11, 2014, all official eartags manufactured must bear an official 
eartag shield. Beginning March 11, 2015, all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear an official eartag shield. The design, size, 
shape, color, and other characteristics of the official eartag will 
depend on the needs of the users, subject to the approval of the 
Administrator. The official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a 
high retention rate in the animal.
    Official eartag shield. The shield[hyphen]shaped graphic of the 
U.S. Route Shield with ``U.S.'' or the State postal abbreviation or 
Tribal alpha code imprinted within the shield.
* * * * *
    Official identification number. A nationally unique number that is 
permanently associated with an animal or group of animals and that 
adheres to one of the following systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System.
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN).
    (3) Location-based number system.
    (4) Flock-based number system.
    (5) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the official identification of animals.
    Officially identified. Identified by means of an official 
identification device or method approved by the Administrator.
* * * * *
    Recognized slaughtering establishment. Any slaughtering facility 
operating under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), or 
State meat or poultry inspection acts that is approved in accordance 
with 9 CFR 71.21.
    Rodeo cattle. Cattle used at rodeos or competitive events.
* * * * *

0
27. Section 78.2 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  78.2  Handling of certificates, permits, and ``S'' brand permits 
for interstate movement of animals.

    (a) Any ICVI, other interstate movement document used in lieu of an 
ICVI, permit, or ``S'' brand permit required by this part for the 
interstate movement of animals shall be delivered to the person moving 
the animals by the shipper or shipper's agent at the time the animals 
are delivered for movement and shall accompany the animals to their 
destination and be delivered to the consignee or the person receiving 
the animals.
    (b) The APHIS representative, State representative, Tribal 
representative, or accredited veterinarian issuing an ICVI or other 
interstate movement document used in lieu of an ICVI or a permit, 
except for permits for entry and ``S'' brand permits, that is required 
for the interstate movement of animals under this part shall forward a 
copy of the ICVI, other interstate movement document used in lieu of an 
ICVI, or permit to the State animal health official of the State of 
origin within 5 working days. The State animal health official of the 
State of origin shall forward a copy of the ICVI, other interstate 
movement document used in lieu of an ICVI, or permit to the State 
animal health official of the State of destination within 5 working 
days.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0047)


0
28. Section 78.5 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  78.5  General restrictions.

    Cattle may not be moved interstate except in compliance with this 
subpart and with 9 CFR part 86. Cattle moved interstate under permit in 
accordance with this subpart are not required to be accompanied by an 
interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or owner-shipper 
statement.


0
29. Section 78.6 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  78.6  Steers and spayed heifers.

    Steers and spayed heifers may be moved interstate in accordance 
with 9 CFR part 86 and without further restriction under this subpart.


0
30. Section 78.9 is amended as follows:
0
a. In the introductory text, by revising the first sentence to read as 
set forth below.
0
b. By revising paragraphs (a)(3)(ii), (a)(3)(iii), (b)(3)(i), 
(b)(3)(ii), (b)(3)(iv), (c)(1)(i), (c)(1)(ii), (c)(1)(iv)(A), 
(c)(1)(vi)(A), (c)(2)(ii)(A), (c)(3)(i), (c)(3)(ii), (c)(3)(iv), 
(d)(1)(i), (d)(1)(ii), (d)(1)(iv)(A), (d)(1)(vi)(A), (d)(2)(ii)(A), and 
(d)(3) to read as set forth below.


Sec.  78.9  Cattle from herds not known to be affected.

    Male cattle which are not test eligible and are from herds not 
known to be affected may be moved interstate without further 
restriction under this subpart. * * *
    (a) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) Such cattle are moved interstate as part of a commuter herd in 
accordance with a commuter herd agreement or other documents as agreed 
to by the shipping and receiving States or Tribes.
    (iii) Such cattle are moved interstate accompanied by an ICVI which 
states, in addition to the items specified in Sec.  78.1, that the 
cattle originated in a Class Free State or area.
    (b) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) Such cattle originate in a certified brucellosis-free herd and 
are accompanied interstate by an ICVI which states, in addition to the 
items specified in Sec.  78.1, that the cattle originated in a 
certified brucellosis-free herd; or
    (ii) Such cattle are negative to an official test within 30 days 
prior to such interstate movement and are accompanied interstate by an 
ICVI which states, in addition to the items specified in Sec.  78.1, 
the test dates and results of the official tests; or
* * * * *
    (iv) Such cattle are moved as part of a commuter herd in accordance 
with a commuter herd agreement or other documents as agreed to by the 
shipping and receiving States or Tribes..
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * * (i) Such cattle may be moved interstate from a farm of 
origin or a nonquarantined feedlot directly to a recognized 
slaughtering establishment without further restriction under this 
subpart.
    (ii) Such cattle may be moved interstate from a farm of origin 
directly

[[Page 2070]]

to an approved intermediate handling facility without further 
restriction under this subpart.
* * * * *
    (iv) * * *
    (A) They are negative to an official test conducted at the 
specifically approved stockyard and are accompanied to slaughter by an 
ICVI or ``S'' brand permit which states, in addition to the items 
specified in Sec.  78.1, the test dates and results of the official 
tests; or
* * * * *
    (vi) * * *
    (A) They are negative to an official test within 30 days prior to 
such interstate movement and are accompanied by an ICVI or ``S'' brand 
permit which states, in addition to the items specified in Sec.  78.1, 
the test dates and results of the official tests; or
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (A) They are negative to an official test within 30 days prior to 
such movement and are accompanied by an ICVI which states, in addition 
to the items specified in Sec.  78.1, the test dates and results of the 
official tests; or
* * * * *
    (3) * * *
    (i) Such cattle originate in a certified brucellosis-free herd and 
are accompanied interstate by an ICVI which states, in addition to the 
items specified in Sec.  78.1, that the cattle originated in a 
certified brucellosis-free herd; or
    (ii) Such cattle are negative to an official test within 30 days 
prior to interstate movement, have been issued a permit for entry, and 
are accompanied interstate by an ICVI which states, in addition to the 
items specified in Sec.  78.1, the test dates and results of the 
official tests; or
* * * * *
    (iv) Such cattle are moved interstate as part of a commuter herd in 
accordance with a commuter herd agreement or other documents as agreed 
to by the shipping and receiving States or Tribes, and
    (A) The cattle being moved originate from a herd in which:
    (1) All the cattle were negative to a herd blood test within 1 year 
prior to the interstate movement;
    (2) Any cattle added to the herd after such herd blood test were 
negative to an official test within 30 days prior to the date the 
cattle were added to the herd;
    (3) None of the cattle in the herd have come in contact with any 
other cattle; and (B) The cattle are accompanied interstate by a 
document which states the dates and results of the herd blood test and 
the name of the laboratory in which the official tests were conducted
* * * * *
    (d) * * *
    (1) * * * (i) Such cattle may be moved interstate from a farm of 
origin or a nonquarantined feedlot directly to a recognized 
slaughtering establishment without further restriction under this 
subpart.
    (ii) Such cattle may be moved interstate from a farm of origin 
directly to an approved intermediate handling facility without further 
restriction under this subpart.
* * * * *
    (iv) * * *
    (A) They are negative to an official test conducted at the 
specifically approved stockyard and are accompanied by an ICVI or ``S'' 
brand permit which states, in addition to the items specified in Sec.  
78.1, the test dates and results of the official tests; or
* * * * *
    (vi) * * *
    (A) They are negative to an official test within 30 days prior to 
such interstate movement and are accompanied by an ICVI or ``S'' brand 
permit which states, in addition to the items specified in Sec.  78.1, 
the test dates and results of the official tests; or
* * * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *
    (A) They are negative to an official test within 30 days prior to 
such movement and are accompanied by an ICVI which states, in addition 
to the items specified in Sec.  78.1, the test dates and results of the 
official tests; or
* * * * *
    (3) Movement other than in accordance with paragraphs (d)(1) or (2) 
of this section. Such cattle may be moved interstate other than in 
accordance with paragraphs (d)(1) or (2) of this section only if such 
cattle originate in a certified brucellosis-free herd and are 
accompanied interstate by an ICVI which states, in addition to the 
items specified in Sec.  78.1, that the cattle originated in a 
certified brucellosis-free herd.
* * * * *


Sec.  78.12  [Amended]

0
31. Section 78.12 is amended as follows:
0
a. In the introductory text, by adding the words ``, 9 CFR part 86,'' 
after the citation ``Sec.  78.10''.
0
b. In paragraph (a), by adding the word ``further'' after the word 
``without''.
0
c. In paragraphs (d)(1)(i), (d)(2)(i), and (d)(3)(ii), by removing the 
words ``a certificate'' and adding the words ``an ICVI'' in their place 
each time they occur.
0
32. Section 78.14 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  78.14  Rodeo cattle.

    (a) Rodeo cattle that are test-eligible and that are from a herd 
not known to be affected may be moved interstate if:
    (1) They are classified as brucellosis negative based upon an 
official test conducted less than 365 days before the date of 
interstate movement: Provided, however, That: The official test is not 
required for rodeo cattle that are moved only between Class Free 
States;
    (2) The cattle are identified with an official eartag or any other 
official identification device or method approved by the Administrator 
in accordance with Sec.  78.5;
    (3) There is no change of ownership since the date of the last 
official test;
    (4) An ICVI accompanies each interstate movement of the cattle; and
    (5) A permit for entry is issued for each interstate movement of 
the cattle.
    (b) Cattle that would qualify as rodeo cattle, but that are used 
for breeding purposes during the 365 days following the date of being 
tested, may be moved interstate only if they meet the requirements for 
cattle in this subpart and in 9 CFR part 86.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0047)


Sec.  78.20  [Amended]

0
33. Section 78.20 is amended by adding the words ``and with 9 CFR part 
86'' after the word ``subpart''.


Sec.  78.21  [Amended]

0
34. Section 78.21 is amended by adding the word ``further'' after the 
word ``without''.
0
35. Section 78.23, paragraph (c) introductory text, is revised to read 
as follows:


Sec.  78.23  Brucellosis exposed bison.

* * * * *
    (c) Movement other than in accordance with paragraphs (a) or (b) of 
this section. Brucellosis exposed bison which are from herds known to 
be affected, but which are not part of a herd being depopulated under 
part 51 of this chapter, may move without further restriction under 
this subpart if the bison:
* * * * *


Sec.  78.24  [Amended]

0
36. Section 78.24 is amended as follows:

[[Page 2071]]

0
a. In paragraphs (a) and (b), by adding the word ``further'' after the 
word ``without'' each time it occurs.
0
b. In paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), (d)(3), and (d)(4), by removing the 
words ``a certificate'' and adding the words ``an ICVI'' in their place 
each time they occur.

0
37. A new part 86 is added to subchapter C to read as follows:

PART 86--ANIMAL DISEASE TRACEABILITY

Sec.
86.1 Definitions.
86.2 General requirements for traceability.
86.3 Recordkeeping requirements.
86.4 Official identification.
86.5 Documentation requirements for interstate movement of covered 
livestock.
86.6 [Reserved]
86.7 [Reserved]
86.8 Preemption.

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 8301-8317; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.4.


Sec.  86.1  Definitions.

    Animal identification number (AIN). A numbering system for the 
official identification of individual animals in the United States that 
provides a nationally unique identification number for each animal. The 
AIN consists of 15 digits, with the first 3 being the country code (840 
for the United States or a unique country code for any U.S. territory 
that has such a code and elects to use it in place of the 840 code). 
The alpha characters USA or the numeric code assigned to the 
manufacturer of the identification device by the International 
Committee on Animal Recording may be used as an alternative to the 840 
or other prefix representing a U.S. territory; however, only the AIN 
beginning with the 840 or other prefix representing a U.S. territory 
will be recognized as official for use on AIN tags applied to animals 
on or after March 11, 2015. The AIN beginning with the 840 prefix may 
not be applied to animals known to have been born outside the United 
States.
    Approved livestock facility. A stockyard, livestock market, buying 
station, concentration point, or any other premises under State or 
Federal veterinary inspection where livestock are assembled and that 
has been approved under Sec.  71.20 of this chapter.
    Approved tagging site. A premises, authorized by APHIS, State, or 
Tribal animal health officials, where livestock may be officially 
identified on behalf of their owner or the person in possession, care, 
or control of the animals when they are brought to the premises.
    Commuter herd. A herd of cattle or bison moved interstate during 
the course of normal livestock management operations and without change 
of ownership directly between two premises, as provided in a commuter 
herd agreement.
    Commuter herd agreement. A written agreement between the owner(s) 
of a herd of cattle or bison and the animal health officials for the 
States or Tribes of origin and destination specifying the conditions 
required for the interstate movement from one premises to another in 
the course of normal livestock management operations and specifying the 
time period, up to 1 year, that the agreement is effective. A commuter 
herd agreement may be renewed annually.
    Covered livestock. Cattle and bison, horses and other equine 
species, poultry, sheep and goats, swine, and captive cervids.
    Dairy cattle. All cattle, regardless of age or sex or current use, 
that are of a breed(s) used to produce milk or other dairy products for 
human consumption, including, but not limited to, Ayrshire, Brown 
Swiss, Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn, and Red and 
Whites.
    Directly. Moved in a means of conveyance, without stopping to 
unload while en route, except for stops of less than 24 hours to feed, 
water, or rest the animals being moved, and with no commingling of 
animals at such stops.
    Flock-based number system. The flock-based number system combines a 
flock identification number (FIN) with a producer's unique livestock 
production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
identification number for an animal.
    Flock identification number (FIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, or Federal animal health authority to a 
group of animals that are managed as a unit on one or more premises and 
are under the same ownership.
    Group/lot identification number (GIN). The identification number 
used to uniquely identify a ``unit of animals'' of the same species 
that is managed together as one group throughout the preharvest 
production chain. When a GIN is used, it is recorded on documents 
accompanying the animals moving interstate; it is not necessary to have 
the GIN attached to each animal.
    Interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI). An official 
document issued by a Federal, State, Tribal, or accredited veterinarian 
certifying the inspection of animals in preparation for interstate 
movement.
    (a) The ICVI must show the species of animals covered by the ICVI; 
the number of animals covered by the ICVI; the purpose for which the 
animals are to be moved; the address at which the animals were loaded 
for interstate movement; the address to which the animals are destined; 
and the names of the consignor and the consignee and their addresses if 
different from the address at which the animals were loaded or the 
address to which the animals are destined. Additionally, unless the 
species-specific requirements for ICVIs provide an exception, the ICVI 
must list the official identification number of each animal, except as 
provided in paragraph (b) of this definition, or group of animals moved 
that is required to be officially identified, or, if an alternative 
form of identification has been agreed upon by the sending and 
receiving States, the ICVI must include a record of that 
identification. If animals moving under a GIN also have individual 
official identification, only the GIN must be listed on the ICVI. An 
ICVI may not be issued for any animal that is not officially identified 
if official identification is required. If the animals are not required 
by the regulations to be officially identified, the ICVI must state the 
exemption that applies (e.g., the cattle and bison do not belong to one 
of the classes of cattle and bison to which the official identification 
requirements of this part apply). If the animals are required to be 
officially identified but the identification number does not have to be 
recorded on the ICVI, the ICVI must state that all animals to be moved 
under the ICVI are officially identified.
    (b) As an alternative to typing or writing individual animal 
identification on an ICVI, if agreed to by the receiving State or 
Tribe, another document may be used to provide this information, but 
only under the following conditions:
    (1) The document must be a State form or APHIS form that requires 
individual identification of animals or a printout of official 
identification numbers generated by computer or other means;
    (2) A legible copy of the document must be stapled to the original 
and each copy of the ICVI;
    (3) Each copy of the document must identify each animal to be moved 
with the ICVI, but any information pertaining to other animals, and any 
unused space on the document for recording animal identification, must 
be crossed out in ink; and
    (4) The following information must be written in ink in the 
identification column on the original and each copy of the ICVI and 
must be circled or boxed, also in ink, so that no additional 
information can be added:

[[Page 2072]]

    (i) The name of the document; and
    (ii) Either the unique serial number on the document or, if the 
document is not imprinted with a serial number, both the name of the 
person who prepared the document and the date the document was signed.
    Interstate movement. From one State into or through any other 
State.
    Livestock. All farm-raised animals.
    Location-based numbering system. The location-based number system 
combines a State or Tribal issued location identification (LID) number 
or a premises identification number (PIN) with a producer's unique 
livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
and herd-unique identification number for an animal.
    Location identification (LID) number. A nationally unique number 
issued by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to a 
location as determined by the State or Tribe in which it is issued. The 
LID number may be used in conjunction with a producer's own unique 
livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally unique 
and herd-unique identification number for an animal. It may also be 
used as a component of a group/lot identification number (GIN).
    Move. To carry, enter, import, mail, ship, or transport; to aid, 
abet, cause, or induce carrying, entering, importing, mailing, 
shipping, or transporting; to offer to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; to receive in order to carry, enter, import, mail, 
ship, or transport; or to allow any of these activities.
    National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES). A numbering system for 
the official identification of individual animals in the United States 
that provides a nationally unique identification number for each 
animal.
    Official eartag. An identification tag approved by APHIS that bears 
an official identification number for individual animals. Beginning 
March 11, 2014, all official eartags manufactured must bear an official 
eartag shield. Beginning March 11, 2015, all official eartags applied 
to animals must bear an official eartag shield. The design, size, 
shape, color, and other characteristics of the official eartag will 
depend on the needs of the users, subject to the approval of the 
Administrator. The official eartag must be tamper-resistant and have a 
high retention rate in the animal.
    Official eartag shield. The shield[hyphen]shaped graphic of the 
U.S. Route Shield with ``U.S.'' or the State postal abbreviation or 
Tribal alpha code imprinted within the shield.
    Official identification device or method. A means approved by the 
Administrator of applying an official identification number to an 
animal of a specific species or associating an official identification 
number with an animal or group of animals of a specific species or 
otherwise officially identifying an animal or group of animals.
    Official identification number. A nationally unique number that is 
permanently associated with an animal or group of animals and that 
adheres to one of the following systems:
    (1) National Uniform Eartagging System (NUES).
    (2) Animal identification number (AIN).
    (3) Location-based number system.
    (4) Flock-based number system.
    (5) Any other numbering system approved by the Administrator for 
the official identification of animals.
    Officially identified. Identified by means of an official 
identification device or method approved by the Administrator.
    Owner-shipper statement. A statement signed by the owner or shipper 
of the livestock being moved stating the location from which the 
animals are moved interstate; the destination of the animals; the 
number of animals covered by the statement; the species of animal 
covered; the name and address of the owner at the time of the movement; 
the name and address of the shipper; and the identification of each 
animal, as required by the regulations, unless the regulations 
specifically provide that the identification does not have to be 
recorded.
    Person. Any individual, corporation, company, association, firm, 
partnership, society, or joint stock company, or other legal entity.
    Premises identification number (PIN). A nationally unique number 
assigned by a State, Tribal, and/or Federal animal health authority to 
a premises that is, in the judgment of the State, Tribal, and/or 
Federal animal health authority a geographically distinct location from 
other premises. The PIN may be used in conjunction with a producer's 
own livestock production numbering system to provide a nationally 
unique and herd-unique identification number for an animal. It may be 
used as a component of a group/lot identification number (GIN).
    Recognized slaughtering establishment. Any slaughtering facility 
operating under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 601 et 
seq.), the Poultry Products Inspection Act
    (21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.), or State meat or poultry inspection acts 
that is approved in accordance with 9 CFR 71.21.
    United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved backtag. A 
backtag issued by APHIS that provides a temporary unique identification 
for each animal.


Sec.  86.2  General requirements for traceability.

    (a) The regulations in this part apply only to covered livestock, 
as defined in Sec.  86.1.
    (b) No person may move covered livestock interstate or receive such 
livestock moved interstate unless the livestock meet all applicable 
requirements of this part.
    (c) The regulations in this part will apply to the movement of 
covered livestock onto and from Tribal lands only when the movement is 
an interstate movement; i.e., when the movement is across a State line.
    (d) In addition to meeting all applicable requirements of this 
part, all covered livestock moved interstate must be moved in 
compliance with all applicable provisions of APHIS program disease 
regulations (subchapter C of this chapter).
    (e) The interstate movement requirements in this part do not apply 
to the movement of covered livestock if:
    (1) The movement occurs entirely within Tribal land that straddles 
a State line and the Tribe has a separate traceability system from the 
States in which its lands are located; or
    (2) The movement is to a custom slaughter facility in accordance 
with Federal and State regulations for preparation of meat.


Sec.  86.3  Recordkeeping requirements.

    (a) Official identification device distribution records. Any State, 
Tribe, accredited veterinarian, or other person or entity who 
distributes official identification devices must maintain for 5 years a 
record of the names and addresses of anyone to whom the devices were 
distributed.
    (b) Interstate movement records. Approved livestock facilities must 
keep any ICVIs or alternate documentation that is required by this part 
for the interstate movement of covered livestock that enter the 
facility on or after March 11, 2013. For poultry and swine, such 
documents must be kept for at least 2 years, and for cattle and bison, 
sheep and goats, cervids, and equines, 5 years.


Sec.  86.4  Official identification.

    (a) Official identification devices and methods. The Administrator 
has approved the following official

[[Page 2073]]

identification devices or methods for the species listed. The 
Administrator may authorize the use of additional devices or methods 
for a specific species if he or she determines that such additional 
devices or methods will provide for adequate traceability.
    (1) Cattle and bison. Cattle and bison that are required to be 
officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be 
identified by means of:
    (i) An official eartag; or
    (ii) Brands registered with a recognized brand inspection authority 
and accompanied by an official brand inspection certificate, when 
agreed to by the shipping and receiving State or Tribal animal health 
authorities; or
    (iii) Tattoos and other identification methods acceptable to a 
breed association for registration purposes, accompanied by a breed 
registration certificate, when agreed to by the shipping and receiving 
State or/Tribal animal health authorities; or
    (iv) Group/lot identification when a group/lot identification 
number (GIN) may be used.
    (2) Horses and other equine species. Horses and other equine 
species that are required to be officially identified for interstate 
movement under this part must be identified by one of the following 
methods:
    (i) A description sufficient to identify the individual equine 
including, but not limited to, name, age, breed, color, gender, 
distinctive markings, and unique and permanent forms of identification 
when present (e.g., brands, tattoos, scars, cowlicks, blemishes or 
biometric measurements). When the identity of the equine is in question 
at the receiving destination, the State or Tribal animal health 
official in the State or Tribe of destination or APHIS representative 
may determine if the description provided is sufficient; or
    (ii) Electronic identification that complies with ISO 11784/11785; 
or
    (iii) Non-ISO electronic identification injected to the equine on 
or before March 11, 2014; or
    (iv) Digital photographs sufficient to identify the individual 
equine; or
    (v) For equines being commercially transported to slaughter, a 
device or method authorized by 88 of this chapter.
    (3) Poultry. Poultry that are required to be officially identified 
for interstate movement under this part must be identified by one of 
the following methods:
    (i) Sealed and numbered leg bands in the manner referenced in the 
National Poultry Improvement Plan regulations (parts 145 through 147 of 
this chapter); or
    (ii) Group/lot identification when a group/lot identification 
number (GIN) may be used.
    (4) Sheep and goats. Sheep and goats that are required to be 
officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be 
identified by a device or method authorized by part 79 of this chapter.
    (5) Swine. Swine that are required to be officially identified for 
interstate movement under this part must be identified by a device or 
method authorized by Sec.  71.19 of this chapter.
    (6) Captive cervids. Captive cervids that are required to be 
officially identified for interstate movement under this part must be 
identified by a device or method authorized by part 77 of this chapter.
    (b) Official identification requirements for interstate movement--
(1) Cattle and bison. (i) All cattle and bison listed in paragraphs 
(b)(1)(iii)(A) through (b)(1)(iii)(D) of this section must be 
officially identified prior to the interstate movement, using an 
official identification device or method listed in paragraph (a)(1) of 
this section unless:
    (A) The cattle and bison are moved as a commuter herd with a copy 
of the commuter herd agreement or other documents as agreed to by the 
shipping and receiving States or Tribes. If any of the cattle or bison 
are shipped to a State or Tribe not included in the commuter herd 
agreement or other documentation, then these cattle or bison must be 
officially identified and documented to the original State of origin.
    (B) The cattle and bison are moved directly from a location in one 
State through another State to a second location in the original State.
    (C) The cattle and bison are moved interstate directly to an 
approved tagging site and are officially identified before commingling 
with cattle and bison from other premises or identified by the use of 
backtags or other methods that will ensure that the identity of the 
animal is accurately maintained until tagging so that the official 
eartag can be correlated to the person responsible for shipping the 
animal to the approved tagging site.
    (D) The cattle and bison are moved between shipping and receiving 
States or Tribes with another form of identification, as agreed upon by 
animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes.
    (ii) Cattle and bison may also be moved interstate without official 
identification if they are moved directly to a recognized slaughtering 
establishment or directly to no more than one approved livestock 
facility and then directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment, 
where they are harvested within 3 days of arrival; and
    (A) They are moved interstate with a USDA-approved backtag; or
    (B) A USDA-approved backtag is applied to the cattle or bison at 
the recognized slaughtering establishment or federally approved 
livestock facility.
    (C) If a determination to hold the cattle or bison for more than 3 
days is made after the animals arrive at the slaughter establishment, 
the animals must be officially identified in accordance with Sec.  
86.4(d)(4)(ii).
    (iii) Beginning on March 11, 2013, all cattle and bison listed 
below are subject to the official identification requirements of this 
section:
    (A) All sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age or over;
    (B) All female dairy cattle of any age and all dairy males born 
after March 11, 2013;
    (C) Cattle and bison of any age used for rodeo or recreational 
events; and
    (D) Cattle and bison of any age used for shows or exhibitions.
    (2) Sheep and goats. Sheep and goats moved interstate must be 
officially identified prior to the interstate movement unless they are 
exempt from official identification requirements under 9 CFR part 79 or 
are officially identified after the interstate movement, as provided in 
9 CFR part 79.
    (3) Swine. Swine moving interstate must be officially identified in 
accordance with Sec.  71.19 of this chapter.
    (4) Horses and other equines. Horses and other equines moving 
interstate moved interstate must be officially identified prior to the 
interstate movement, using an official identification device or method 
listed in paragraph (a)(2) of this section unless:
    (i) They are used as the mode of transportation (horseback, horse 
and buggy) for travel to another location and then return direct to the 
original location.
    (ii) They are moved from the farm or stable for veterinary medical 
examination or treatment and returned to the same location without 
change in ownership.
    (iii) They are moved directly from a location in one State through 
another State to a second location in the original State.
    (iv) They are moved between shipping and receiving States or Tribes 
with another form of identification as agreed upon by animal health 
officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes.
    (5) Poultry. Poultry moving interstate must be officially 
identified prior to interstate movement unless:
    (i) The shipment of poultry is from a hatchery to a redistributor 
or poultry

[[Page 2074]]

grower and the person responsible for receiving the shipment maintains 
a record of the supplier; or
    (ii) The shipment is from a redistributor to a poultry grower and 
the person responsible for receiving the chicks maintains a record of 
the supplier of the chicks; or
    (iii) The poultry are identified as agreed upon by the States or 
Tribes involved in the movement.
    (6) Captive cervids. Captive cervids moving interstate must be 
officially identified prior to interstate movement in accordance with 
part 77 of this chapter.
    (c) Use of more than one official eartag. Beginning on March 13, 
2013, no more than one official eartag may be applied to an animal, 
except that:
    (1) Another official eartag may be applied providing it bears the 
same official identification number as an existing one.
    (2) In specific cases when the need to maintain the identity of an 
animal is intensified (e.g., such as for export shipments, quarantined 
herds, field trials, experiments, or disease surveys), a State or 
Tribal animal health official or an area veterinarian in charge may 
approve the application of an additional official eartag to an animal 
that already has one or more. The person applying the additional 
official eartag must record the following information about the event 
and maintain the record for 5 years: The date the additional official 
eartag is added; the reason for the additional official eartag device; 
and the official identification numbers of both the new official eartag 
and the one(s) already attached to the animal.
    (3) An eartag with an animal identification number (AIN) beginning 
with the 840 prefix (either radio frequency identification or visual-
only tag) may be applied to an animal that is already officially 
identified with one or more National Uniform Eartagging System tags 
and/or an official vaccination eartag used for brucellosis. The person 
applying the AIN eartag must record the date the AIN tag is added and 
the official identification numbers of both official eartags and must 
maintain those records for 5 years.
    (4) A brucellosis vaccination eartag with a National Uniform 
Eartagging System number may be applied in accordance with part 78 of 
this chapter to an animal that is already officially identified with 
one or more official eartags under this part. The person applying the 
vaccination eartag must record the date the tag is added and the 
official identification numbers of both the existing official eartag(s) 
and the vaccination eartag and must maintain those records for 5 years.
    (d) Removal or loss of official identification devices. (1) 
Official identification devices are intended to provide permanent 
identification of livestock and to ensure the ability to find the 
source of animal disease outbreaks. Removal of these devices, including 
devices applied to imported animals in their countries of origin and 
recognized by the Administrator as official, is prohibited except at 
the time of slaughter, at any other location upon the death of the 
animal, or as otherwise approved by the State or Tribal animal health 
official or an area veterinarian in charge when a device needs to be 
replaced.
    (2) All man-made identification devices affixed to covered 
livestock unloaded at slaughter plants after moving interstate must be 
removed at the slaughter facility by slaughter-facility personnel with 
the devices correlated with the animal and its carcass through final 
inspection or condemnation by means approved by the Food Safety 
Inspection Service (FSIS). If diagnostic samples are taken, the 
identification devices must be packaged with the samples and be 
correlated with the carcasses through final inspection or condemnation 
by means approved by FSIS. Devices collected at slaughter must be made 
available to APHIS and FSIS by the slaughter plant.
    (3) All official identification devices affixed to covered 
livestock carcasses moved interstate for rendering must be removed at 
the rendering facility and made available to APHIS.
    (4) If an animal loses an official identification device and needs 
a new one: (i) A replacement tag with a different official 
identification number may be applied. The person applying a new 
official identification device with a different official identification 
number must record the following information about the event and 
maintain the record for 5 years: The date the new official 
identification device was added; the official identification number on 
the device; and the official identification number on the old device if 
known.
    (ii) Replacement of a temporary identification device with a new 
official identification device is considered to be a retagging event, 
and all applicable information must be maintained in accordance with 
paragraph (d)(4)(i) of this section.
    (iii) A duplicate replacement eartag with the official number of 
the lost tag may be applied in accordance with APHIS' protocol for the 
administration of such tags.
    (e) Replacement of official identification devices for reasons 
other than loss.
    (1) Circumstances under which a State or Tribal animal health 
official or an area veterinarian in charge may authorize replacement of 
an official identification device include, but are not limited to:
    (i) Deterioration of the device such that loss of the device 
appears likely or the number can no longer be read;
    (ii) Infection at the site where the device is attached, 
necessitating application of a device at another location (e.g., a 
slightly different location of an eartag in the ear);
    (iii) Malfunction of the electronic component of a radio frequency 
identification (RFID) device; or
    (iv) Incompatibility or inoperability of the electronic component 
of an RFID device with the management system or unacceptable 
functionality of the management system due to use of an RFID device.
    (2) Any time an official identification device is replaced, as 
authorized by the State or Tribal animal health official or area 
veterinarian in charge, the person replacing the device must record the 
following information about the event and maintain the record for 5 
years:
    (i) The date on which the device was removed;
    (ii) Contact information for the location where the device was 
removed;
    (iii) The official identification number (to the extent possible) 
on the device removed;
    (iv) The type of device removed (e.g., metal eartag, RFID eartag);
    (v) The reason for the removal of the device;
    (vi) The new official identification number on the replacement 
device; and
    (vii) The type of replacement device applied.
    (f) Sale or transfer of official identification devices. Official 
identification devices are not to be sold or otherwise transferred from 
the premises to which they were originally issued to another premises 
without authorization by the Administrator or a State or Tribal animal 
health official.


Sec.  86.5  Documentation requirements for interstate movement of 
covered livestock.

    (a) The persons responsible for animals leaving a premises for 
interstate movement must ensure that the animals are accompanied by an 
interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) or other 
document required by this part for the interstate movement of animals.
    (b)(1) The APHIS representative, State or Tribal representative, or 
accredited

[[Page 2075]]

veterinarian issuing an ICVI or other document required for the 
interstate movement of animals under this part must forward a copy of 
the ICVI or other document to the State or Tribal animal health 
official of the State or Tribe of origin within 7 calendar days from 
the date on which the ICVI or other document is issued. The State or 
Tribal animal health official in the State or Tribe of origin must 
forward a copy of the ICVI or other document to the State or Tribal 
animal health official the State or Tribe of destination within 7 
calendar days from date on which the ICVI or other document is 
received.
    (2) The animal health official or accredited veterinarian issuing 
or receiving an ICVI or other interstate movement document in 
accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section must keep a copy of 
the ICVI or alternate documentation. For poultry and swine, such 
documents must be kept for at least 2 years, and for cattle and bison, 
sheep and goats, cervids, and equines, 5 years.
    (c) Cattle and bison. Cattle and bison moved interstate must be 
accompanied by an ICVI unless:
    (1) They are moved directly to a recognized slaughtering 
establishment, or directly to an approved livestock facility and then 
directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment, and they are 
accompanied by an owner-shipper statement.
    (2) They are moved directly to an approved livestock facility with 
an owner-shipper statement and do not move interstate from the facility 
unless accompanied by an ICVI.
    (3) They are moved from the farm of origin for veterinary medical 
examination or treatment and returned to the farm of origin without 
change in ownership.
    (4) They are moved directly from one State through another State 
and back to the original State.
    (5) They are moved as a commuter herd with a copy of the commuter 
herd agreement or other document as agreed to by the States or Tribes 
involved in the movement.
    (6) Additionally, cattle and bison may be moved between shipping 
and receiving States or Tribes with documentation other than an ICVI, 
e.g., a brand inspection certificate, as agreed upon by animal health 
officials in the shipping and receiving States or Tribes.
    (7) The official identification number of cattle or bison must be 
recorded on the ICVI or alternate documentation unless:
    (i) The cattle or bison are moved from an approved livestock 
facility directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment; or
    (ii) The cattle and bison are sexually intact cattle or bison under 
18 months of age or steers or spayed heifers; Except that: This 
exception does not apply to sexually intact dairy cattle of any age or 
to cattle or bison used for rodeo, exhibition, or recreational 
purposes.
    (d) Sheep and goats. Sheep and goats moved interstate must be 
accompanied by documentation as required by part 79 of this chapter.
    (e) Swine. Swine moved interstate must be accompanied by 
documentation in accordance with Sec.  71.19 of this chapter or, if 
applicable, with part 85.
    (f) Horses and other equines. Horses and other equines moved 
interstate must be accompanied by an ICVI unless:
    (1) They are used as the mode of transportation (horseback, horse 
and buggy) for travel to another location and then return direct to the 
original location.
    (2) They are moved from the farm or stable for veterinary medical 
examination or treatment and returned to the same location without 
change in ownership.
    (3) They are moved directly from a location in one State through 
another State to a second location in the original State.
    (4) Additionally, equines may be moved between shipping and 
receiving States or Tribes with documentation other than an ICVI, e.g., 
an equine infectious anemia test chart, as agreed to by the shipping 
and receiving States or Tribes involved in the movement.
    (5) Equines moving commercially to slaughter must be accompanied by 
documentation in accordance with part 88 of this chapter. Equine 
infectious anemia reactors moving interstate must be accompanied by 
documentation as required by part 75 of this chapter.
    (g) Poultry. Poultry moved interstate must be accompanied by an 
ICVI unless:
    (1) They are from a flock participating in the National Poultry 
Improvement Plan (NPIP) and are accompanied by the documentation 
required under the NPIP regulations (parts 145 through 147 of this 
chapter) for participation in that program; or
    (2) They are moved directly to a recognized slaughtering or 
rendering establishment; or
    (3) They are moved from the farm of origin for veterinary medical 
examination, treatment, or diagnostic purposes and either returned to 
the farm of origin without change in ownership or euthanized and 
disposed of at the veterinary facility; or
    (4) They are moved directly from one State through another State 
and back to the original State; or
    (5) They are moved between shipping and receiving States or Tribes 
with a VS Form 9-3 or documentation other than an ICVI, as agreed upon 
by animal health officials in the shipping and receiving States or 
Tribes.
    (6) They are moved under permit in accordance with part 82 of this 
chapter.
    (h) Captive cervids. Captive cervids moved interstate must be 
accompanied by documentation as required by part 77 of this chapter.


Sec.  86.6  [Reserved]


Sec.  86.7  [Reserved]


Sec.  86.8  Preemption.

    State, Tribal, and local laws and regulations may not specify an 
official identification device or method that would have to be used if 
multiple devices or methods may be used under this part for a 
particular species, nor may the State or Tribe of destination impose 
requirements that would otherwise cause the State or Tribe from which 
the shipments originate to have to develop a particular kind of 
traceability system or change its existing system in order to meet the 
requirements of the State or Tribe of destination.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 19th day of December 2012.
Edward Avalos,
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-31114 Filed 1-8-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P