Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Brand supporters wary of looming animal ID rules
As ranchers prepare for the annual spring branding that stamps their personal identifying mark on new calves, a pending federal rule for tracking animals moving between states has some cattlemen wondering about the brand’s future. South Dakota state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven, however, is confident the new rule will not interfere with western South Dakota’s time-honored tradition of the hot brand. He believes there is some misunderstanding of what the rule means. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will soon release a proposed rule outlining official identification methods to improve the traceability of animals moving from state to state to limit the economic effects of livestock diseases. The proposed rule was expected at the end of April, but so far, it has not been released. All of western South Dakota is a livestock ownership inspection area. About 1.5 million head of livestock are inspected annually within the area or at livestock markets outside the area. That won’t change with the advent of the new rule, Oedekoven said. As Oedekoven understands the rule, states can continue to use the brand as an identifying marker when there is agreement between states. The official identification method for cattle will be an official ear tag or group/lot identification, but APHIS has said other forms of identification, including brands, tattoos and breed registration certificates will be acceptable when states and tribal officials recognize those methods as proper identification...more