Rancher Applauds EID Funding

Rancher Applauds EID Funding

Haylie Shipp
Haylie Shipp
There are 15 million dollars in the just-passed FY 2024 USDA spending bill to help cattle producers equip their animals with electronic ID tags.

Former head of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Todd Wilkinson says the EID funds will go a long way toward improving cattle traceability and reducing the financial burden on producers…

“So, the fact that we have 15 million dollars coming through the appropriations side is a major win.”

And it’s a win for limiting the possibly devastating impact on the cattle industry from a disease like foot and mouth…

“If that comes into the United States, the current plan is to shut the entire country down for a minimum of 72 hours. And it’s probably going to go a lot longer than that.”

But Wilkinson, a South Dakota cattle producer, says electronic tags speed up traceability reporting between states, thereby limiting those shutdowns in unaffected areas. And to those producers who don’t want to bother…

“If we don’t think an animal disease is going to come into this country, as porous as our borders are, and impact our producers, you’re burying your head in the sand.”

Wilkinson refutes concerns electronic tracking will divulge producer information publicly and argues without better traceability, industry losses to disease outbreaks won’t be in the millions of dollars, but billions.

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