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USDA Requires Tracking for Shipped Farm Animals

The federal government hopes requiring tracking will help identify sources of disease in livestock.

The US Department of Agriculture recently introduced a new program requiring farmers to track animals shipped across state lines, reports the Associated Press. The USDA hopes tracking the movements of sick animals will reveal the source of illness––whether it’s natural or comes from intentional tampering such as tainted feed. This is the second attempt at implementing a livestock tracking system. The first program was volunteer-based, and was canceled after few farmers participated and many vocalized complaints. The mandate is limited, however, as it doesn’t require all livestock on a farm be tracked, and does not specify how, leaving farmers to decide on methods such as branding or ear tags.

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