(By Brandon Hansen/Chewelah Independent)
The WSDA is seeking input for a cattle industry-led task force to develop an implementation plan for RDIF tags in Washington. The state is planning on the radio tags, citing better disease traceability as the core reason for the move.
“Most of our state’s producers remember the significant market impact to the cattle industry in 2003 when a single Canadian cow with BSE was imported into Washington. Export losses for America’s beef industry totaled $3.2 billion to $4.7 billion in 2004. Cattle producers have yet to fully recover from the event. Most concerning, it took seven days of searching through paper records to trace the cow’s origins and some of the animals that had been exposed were never found,” wrote Assistant State Veterinarian Dr. Amber Itle in a recent article in the Washington Cattlemen’s Association publication.
The WSDA said they need producers to inform the agency how it can move forward. There has been some local opposition.