Animal Disease Traceability
The ability to rapidly trace movements of diseased animals or at-risk animals exposed to disease is essential for a prompt response to an animal disease event. Animal disease traceability does not prevent disease but is an indispensable element for ongoing disease control programs and for animal health officials responding to emergency diseases. Federal and state animal health officials, in cooperation with livestock industry stakeholders, developed an animal traceability framework to enhance the ability to trace the movement of livestock. The United States Department of Agriculture has the authority to regulate and promulgate regulations for the interstate movement of livestock.
New USDA APHIS has opened the public comment period for feedback regarding its proposed changes to Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) requirements, specifically the use of electronic identification eartags in cattle and bison. The intent of these changes is to strengthen the ability of the US to quickly respond to significant animal disease outbreaks, as rapid traceability is critical to ensuring appropriate disease response and timely return to business continuity. The proposed changes and avenue to submit formal comments can be found on the Federal Register here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2023/01/19/2023-00505/use-of-electronic-identification-eartags-as-official-identification-in-cattle-and-bison. The comment period ends April 19, 2023.
New Movement Restrictions for Rabbits and Hares Entering California
Due to the ongoing outbreak of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) in the U.S., California has implemented a statewide quarantine with movement restrictions for rabbits and hares entering California.
No rabbits, hares, or their products (meat, pelts, hides, carcasses, etc.) and equipment or other items or associated materials may enter California from states or countries where Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) has been diagnosed in the prior 12 months unless they meet the following requirements.
All live rabbits and hares require a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, and must be inspected by an accredited veterinarian within 72 hours prior to shipping to California. The CVI must include a statement by an accredited veterinarian certifying that:
- All rabbits and hares in the shipment have been examined for and found free of communicable diseases, and
- All rabbits and hares have originated from a single premises that has no signs of a communicable disease, and
- There have been no movements of rabbits and hares onto the premises over the prior 30-days, and
- The animals have had no contact with wild rabbits or hares in the past 30 days.
- No rabbits and hares or rabbit and hare products (meat, pelts, hides, carcasses, etc.) and equipment or other items or associated materials may enter California from a premises known to be affected with RHD.
For more information regarding RHD, please refer to our RHD webpage.
California ADT Regulations
Animal disease traceability regulations, including requirements for movement of cattle, identification, and documentation, can be found in Chapter 2, Division 2 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations.. These include the requirement that:
- All dairy cattle born after January 1, 2017 must be officially identified prior to leaving their birth premises, unless moving directly to an approved tagging site.
- All dairy cattle changing ownership require official identification unless moving directly to:
- An approved tagging site
- A recognized slaughtering establishment with a USDA approved backtag
- Non-virgin bulls less than 18 months of age and all bulls 18 months of age and over must bear individual official identification prior to change of ownership (unless moving directly to a recognized slaughter facility or on a Bull Slaughter Agreement).
We encourage the use of electronic technology for animal disease traceability purposes, which includes Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID), RFID readers (wands), electronic Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs), and USDA's Mobile Information Management (MIM) software. Use of electronic technology for animal disease traceability increases the ease, efficiency, and accuracy of data used for daily herd management, movement, routine veterinary services, and in the event of disease outbreaks.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) cattle ear tags available to California accredited veterinarians from CDFA
To increase the use of official RFID tags in herd replacements not currently using electronic identification, the USDA/APHIS/Veterinary Services (VS) is distributing no-cost official (840 series) white and orange low radio frequency identification (RFID) half duplex cattle ear tags. These tags will be distributed to producers through their accredited veterinarians. Accredited veterinarians can request the tags by contacting Animal Health Branch district offices or emailing email@example.com. The number of tags distributed will be determined by the supply.
Please refer to our page on Electronic CVIs (eCVIs) for information on CVI options for small animals and large animals and links to eCVI providers.
General Animal Movement Information for Accredited Veterinarians can be found on our website, including information on obtaining CVIs, resources for movement requirements, and responsibilities of accredited veterinarians.
Timely submission and accurate completion of required forms and information by accredited veterinarians to the Animal Health Branch is critical for animal disease traceability and disease surveillance.
Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs) and accompanying documents (e.g., lists of official identification numbers, test results) must be forwarded to CDFA within seven (7) calendar days from date of issue. Common errors in issuing Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVIs) include:
- Missing official identification (ID) information,
- Missing Coggins (EIA) test information for equids,
- Missing permit numbers if required, and
- Delayed submission of CVI and documents to CDFA-AHB.
Veterinarians are responsible for verifying entry requirements of the destination state before moving livestock and poultry to ensure that shipments comply with interstate movement laws and regulations.
Veterinarians or facilities distributing official identification ear tags must report this distribution to CDFA-AHB on a quarterly basis. Use the form "Report of Official Ear Tags Distributed or Applied " (AHB Form 76-210) and send to firstname.lastname@example.org or the local CDFA-AHB district office within seven (7) calendar days following the end of each reporting quarter, even if no tags were distributed. Reporting quarters end in March, June, September, and December of each year.
- If a veterinarian (or other person) distributes a series of RFID tags or silver tags, or applies tags that are not associated with an official requirement, the tag numbers should be reported to CDFA-AHB on the "Report of Official Ear Tags Distributed or Applied" or electronically.
- If a veterinarian (or other person) applies or uses RFID tags for any official requirement (e.g., tuberculosis testing, brucellosis testing, brucellosis vaccination, CVI), the tag numbers should be reported to CDFA-AHB electronically (not on a paper form) with that official report.
Note: Trichomonosis tags don't need to be reported to CDFA-AHB; the bull's official identification number should be included on the submission form when a sample is submitted for trichomonosis testing.
For more information on the use of Radio Frequency Identification Devices (RFID) as the official ID tags for brucellosis vaccination, including the methods of reporting RFID tag numbers to CDFA-AHB and relevant regulations regarding official ID in vaccinates, please see this factsheet:
Use of RFID as Official Identification for Brucellosis Vaccination
Please contact CDFA-AHB headquarters or your local district office if you are interested in incorporating electronic technology for animal disease traceability in your practice.
The Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium has released a video that explains the use of individual official identification of animals and premises registration and their importance for a strong animal disease traceability system.
Interstate Movement Requirements
It is important to verify entry requirements of the destination state before moving livestock and poultry; some states may have additional regulations and requirements.
Please visit the following websites to determine entry requirements for each state:
Special Movement Documents
In certain circumstances, a Pasture-to-Pasture Permit may be issued for beef breeding cattle moving for pasture over the course of one grazing season between California and one of the following states: Oregon, Nevada, and Idaho. Please call the Animal Health Branch Permit Line at (916) 900-5052 to learn more about Pasture-to-Pasture Permits.
Pasture-to-Pasture Permit application
Working Horse Permits
Horses that are used for livestock husbandry or other ranch-related activities in both California and certain states (Nevada or Idaho) may be exempt from the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection requirement for entry to California if the owner obtains a Working Horse Permit. These permits are valid until the end of a calendar year. Working Horse Permits are not allowed for horses used for show or exhibition and are primarily issued to owners who already have a Pasture-to-Pasture Permit for grazing beef cattle. Please call the Animal Health Branch Permit Line at (916) 900-5052 to learn more about Working Horse Permits.
Working Horse Permit application
Extended Equine Certificates of Veterinary Inspection
An option for owners of horses traveling frequently between California and other states and not being sold is the Extended Equine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (EECVI), provided by Global Vet Link. An EECVI is valid for up to six (6) months and can be used for interstate movement instead of a traditional CVI, which is valid for 30 days from the date of inspection. Veterinarians create an EECVI online through the GVL software system and provide owners with access to create the required travel permits for each interstate movement. For more information, please refer to our handout for equine vets and handout for equine owners, or visit Global Vet Link EECVI.
Identification of Premises
Identification of premises involved in animal agriculture is an asset to achieving an efficient and effective animal disease traceability program. Producers voluntarily contribute to the effectiveness of the program by obtaining a Premises Identification Number (PIN). Producers are required to obtain a PIN to order official AIN (840) tags from manufacturers. To obtain a PIN, complete the Location Number Request form located at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/AHFSS/Animal_Health/pdfs/76-196_w_location_number_request.pdf and send it to your local CDFA Animal Health Branch district office or the contact on the form. If you have any questions, please contact your CDFA Animal Health Branch district office, call (866) 325-5681, or email PAIS@cdfa.ca.gov.