Federal policy could undermine Wyo cattle ID legislation
by Nick Reynolds, WyoFile
May 4, 2021
Newly passed legislation that would allow Wyoming bison and cattle ranchers to use any method of state-approved livestock identification — rather than federally mandated eartags — could soon be challenged by federal policy.
The policy may erode a recent victory by Wyoming’s ranching industry that earned them more autonomy over tracking their animals, and industry groups are watching developments closely.
In 2019, ranchers in eastern Wyoming and Montana filed suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture over a new mandate requiring ranchers to use a specific type of high-tech eartag tracking device when transporting stock across state lines.
The remote frequency identification devices enable federal regulators to track the movements of cattle in the supply chain and help better identify diseases, which proponents say could potentially boost consumer confidence.
But when the RFID requirement was implemented in 2019, the ranchers argued the policy change would put them at a competitive disadvantage to their neighbors in Nebraska...
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