Florida Cattle ID Task Force is embracing positive steps forward in establishing a more robust system for response to animal health threats. The goal is to build a partnership that fulfills the needs of Industry, State, and Federal agencies for Animal Disease Traceability. For the following reasons:
Demonstrate an effective cattle traceability program for Florida producers and industry partners using different methods of RFID tags, an already proven and readily available technology, through the voluntary participation of all facets of production of the Florida cattle industry. This demo will focus on all animals currently covered in current federal and state interstate movement rules as well as other classes, primarily feeder calves, that would be vitally important to ensure stakeholder goals of having an internationally and domestically recognized “traceability system”. It has been determined that a strong partnership of industry and regulatory agencies, both Federal and State, to help develop and provide education to producers would be vital to the project’s success.
Since it is recognized that a substantial portion of Florida calves move beyond Florida borders during the production cycle, the Florida Demonstration Project will be working with Texas and Kansas as part of the project to provide evidence of complete animal traceability during an animal’s lifespan.
Because the Florida beef industry impacts and is impacted by other parts of the country a project objective is to share and assist other states in the lesson learned through this demonstration project.
To demonstrate a comprehensive livestock traceability system using proven and existing technology that can save both time and resources of the State and Federal regulatory authorities charged with protecting the health of the cattle herd in Florida and the United States while simultaneously satisfying domestic and foreign customers request for a traceability system of beef. Also to support the development of a privately held animal ID Database to serve the interests of the industry and protect proprietary information.
Voluntary participants across the beef industry in Florida- producers, livestock markets, backgrounders/order buyers, harvest facilities, industry partners, and state and federal regulatory agencies- will all work together to demonstrate through the Florida Demonstration Project that an animal ID and traceability system can be economically put into place to assist in the provision of a sustainable supply of safe and wholesome U.S. beef for domestic and foreign consumers.
Radio frequency tags contains a passive antenna that can be read electronically. Unique numbers can be assigned to each animal. Tags are read electronically and the tag number can be transmitted to management systems or documents. Electronic capture, management and transfer of animal identification data is efficient and accurate.
The leadership of the Florida cattle industry and the managing partners of the Florida Traceability Demonstration Project recognize there would be benefits for everyone, producers to consumers, involved in the US beef supply chain by having a traceability system and therefore believe and seek to demonstrate that all should share the related costs. The project has been granted funds from the Florida Cattle Enhancement Board, USDA and APHIS to facilitate the efforts.