KBHB Weekend Music Vault
2:01pm - 11:59pm
Closings, Cancellations and Delays

RCALF lawsuit puts a halt to USDA's mandatory electronic tags

Jerry Oster, WNAX - October 30, 2019

BELVIDERE, SD - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has paused its effort to mandate radio frequency identification (RFID) ear tags for cattle and bison following a lawsuit filed by R-CALF. One of the lead plaintiffs in the case is South Dakota rancher Kenny Fox of Belvidere who serves as R-CALF’s Animal ID Chairman. He says their litigation is continuing.

“We haven’t withdrawn our lawsuit,” says Fox.  “There are other things USDA has violated, four other federal acts.” He continued, “It was very encouraging when the President came out with two executive orders shortly after our lawsuit, calling on federal agencies to follow the rules and not mandate without public input.”

He says the original move to mandate the RFID tags is an example of government overreach. “I thought it was extreme government over-reach. I’ve always maintained that,” reflects Fox.  “I’m very grateful the New Civil Liberties Alliance (NCLA) took the case on for us.”

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)  recently removed the RFID documents from its website saying it is no longer representative of current agency policy. Says Fox, “If they (USDA) felt they had a strong argument, they wouldn’t have withdrawn their guidance documents.”

USDA officials say they still believe RFID devices will provide the cattle industry with the best protection against the rapid spread of animal diseases. Fox says they’ve already been able to protect against those without the RFID tags.

“We have had brucellosis and tuberculosis disease programs that have more or less eradicated the disease - especially in case of brucellosis - in our country,” says Fox.  “It follows brands and shippers statements that include who is selling the cattle and where they went. All of those things they use now. Having more than one form of official identification is a good thing.  When one fails, another one picks up.”

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785