Maintenance of a robust animal disease traceability capability within Vermont is essential to the Animal Health Office's ability to respond effectively to an outbreak of a high consequence livestock disease.  By quickly containing contagious disease outbreaks, Animal Health Section veterinarians and specialists help to minimize disease-associated economic loss and protect the business continuity of Vermont's animal agriculture businesses.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) works collaboratively with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture to ensure animal traceability in instances when livestock and poultry move across state lines.  Under the USDA's final interim Animal Disease Traceability rule, cattle will be required to be officially identified any time they move across state lines.  Producer compliance with this rule will help to ensure that livestock infected with, or exposed to, a highly contagious disease will be identified and isolated quickly, thereby minimizing the collateral damage of the disease in question. Learn more about USDA's Animal Disease Traceability program.

Producer Resposibility

Producers play a critical role in Vermont's animal disease traceability program, and the Animal Health Section encourages producers to officially identify all livestock at birth or prior to leaving the farm for any reason.  Producers may now obtain official eartags and pliers from the Agency of Agriculture for purposes of identifying their livestock.  Following a request from a producer for this purpose, an Agency animal health specialist will schedule an appointment to review with the producer requirements for possession and use of the eartags.  Prior to issuance of tags, an eartag agreement form must be completed and signed by the producer, and this form will be kept on file at the Animal Health Office.  Failure to utilize the tags properly will result in the producer forfeiting his or her ability to obtain additional tags. 

To obtain official eartags for on farm use or to obtain other information pertaining to animal disease traceability in Vermont, contact the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets' Animal Health Office.

Additional resources

Control of Contagious Livestock Diseases - Vermont statutory language