The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has announced the implementation of new adult cattle traceability rules effective January 1, 2013. TAHC apparently amended its regulations after “unofficially” suspending its brucellosis test requirement for adult cattle at change of ownership. Because cattle no longer receive ear-tags at the time of testing, the updated rule stipulates that “all sexually intact cattle, parturient or post parturient, or 18 months of age and older changing ownership must still be officially identified with Commission approved permanent identification.”

“The new traceability rule will help preserve the TAHC’s ability to identify and trace animal movements quickly and effectively, no matter which disease is involved,” stated the agency, which has anticipated that the change will primarily affect beef cattle, “as dairy cattle in Texas have had an even more stringent identification requirement in place since 2008.” The Commission has also supplied a complete list of acceptable identification devices and methods on its Website, adding that “the most commonly used devices include [U.S. Department of Agriculture] metal tags, brucellosis calfhood vaccination tags, US origin 840 series Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID), and breed registration tattoos or firebrands.” See TAHC Press Release, October 4, 2012.