Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

Legislation in South Dakota passed to preserve livestock identification options

PIERRE, SD – As the march towards mandatory use of electronic identification for cattle continues at the federal level, ranchers in South Dakota have successfully put a bill in place in efforts to circumvent any directives in the future.

South Dakota Stockgrowers Association (SDSGA) announced the South Dakota Legislature’s
passage of HB 1096 this week. The Livestock Identification Bill allows producers the right to choose how to best identify the animals within their herds.

Currently livestock owners may choose to identify animals using any methods pursuant to §§ 40-3-27 inclusive, as set forth in 9 C.F.R. part 86, as adopted on January 9, 2013. HB 1096 continues producer choices for use of multiple forms of ID such as metal clip tags, tattoos, brands and EID if desired.

SDSGA Executive Director, James Halverson, said,” The South Dakota Animal Industry Board does a great job, and this bill protects against overreach from the USDA by preventing an electronic ID federal mandate within South Dakota.” He also stated, “Our current identification system works well, and this will preserve it within South Dakota, asserting our state’s rights to identify animals as we see fit.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) continues to believe that electronic tags will provide the cattle industry with the best protection against the rapid spread of animal diseases.

APHIS first tried to mandate the use of RFID ear tags in April 2019, with January 1, 2023, as the mandate’s start date. But after reviewing  public comments and lawsuits filed against the proposal to approve Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) as the official eartag for use in interstate movement of cattle, APHIS decided to use the rulemaking process for future action related to this proposal. This means that the original notice will not be finalized, and that all current APHIS-approved methods of identification may be used as official identification until further notice.

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