USDA to Abandon Livestock Tracking

February 5, 2010 /EIN PRESSWIRE/ Citing resistance from ranchers and farmers, the USDA will scrap a voluntary program designed to track livestock transported across state lines.

The program, created in 2004 after a mad cow discovery, was designed to quickly identify diseased animals in the event of an outbreak, but the cattle industry did not back the program. Farmers and ranchers objected to the program because of the costs and extra work involved — in addition to privacy concerns.

“It was just overwhelming in the country that people didn’t like it, and I think they took that feedback to heart,” said Mary Kay Thatcher, public policy director of the American Farm Bureau Federation, told the New York Times.

Instead of scrapping the concept of tracking altogether, officials say the states will need to give their input to a tracking system.

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