California Department of Food and Agriculture

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 emergency response disease investigations by animal health officials. 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.

NOTICE: On April 1, 2017, changes to animal disease traceability regulations, including requirements for movement of cattle, identification, documentation, and specific livestock diseases, go into effect. The regulation changes can be found in Chapters 2 and 7, Division 2 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations. These includes the requirement that:

  1. 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.

  2. 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
    • No more than one approved livestock marketing facility (that is an approved tagging site), and then to a recognized slaughtering establishment with a USDA approved backtag
  3. 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).

  4. Non-virgin bulls less than 18 months of age and bulls 18 months of age and over changing ownership/moving interstate as breeding bulls must be accompanied by a negative trichomonosis PCR test result taken within 60 calendar days prior to sale/move.

  5. Bulls, when trichomonosis tested, require both official individual ID AND a trichomonosis approved color-coded eartag; the official identification of each bull must be recorded and accompany the trichomonosis sample to the laboratory (the trichomonosis tag is not an official identification tag because it does not including the “Official eartag shield” and is removal/replacement during testing).

Additional information on the Trichomonosis program can be found on the Trichomonosis page.

Summary of Regulation Changes – Animal Disease Traceability
Summary of Regulation Changes – Trichomonosis Program

wedge Notice: Animal Disease Traceability Rule — Effective April 1, 2017

The Department of Food and Agriculture, Animal Health Branch, proposed various changes to Division 2 of Title 3 of the California Code of Regulations. The changes will implement specified requirements (cattle and bison) of the United States Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Traceability rule (9 CFR Part 86), which establishes official identification and documentation requirements for the traceability of livestock moving between all states, and modifies those requirements as necessary to facilitate movement and husbandry practices unique to California's beef and dairy cattle industries.

Additionally, the regulation changes relocate existing importation, movement and identification regulations for cattle and bison pursuant to specific livestock diseases (bovine brucellosis and tuberculosis, and trichomonosis) into those proposed new animal disease traceability requirements; and deletes outdated requirements, replacing them with updated requirements to reflect current industry practices to enhance existing prevention, control and eradication disease programs.

It is important to verify entry requirements of the destination state before moving livestock and poultry; some states may have additional regulations and requirements.

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 National Premises Identification Number (NPIN). Producers who have a NPIN are able to order official AIN (840) tags.

To obtain a Premises Identification Number
visit or call 866-325-5681

Animal disease traceability contributes to the safeguarding of animal health. The protection of American animal agriculture, which is vital to the well-being of all U.S. citizens, promotes human health; provides wholesome, reliable, and secure food resources; mitigates national economic threats; and enhances a sustainable environment.

For additional information on the California Premises & Animal Identification System or to request a premises ID, contact us at