Texas Ranchers Brace for New Cattle ID Rules
POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012 - 10:38am
UPDATED: Monday, January 30, 2012 - 12:09pm
AUSTIN, Texas — In Dan Gattis’ Georgetown pasture, cows and their newborn calves have bright yellow ear tags with identification numbers.
“I can take that knife and pull that ear tag out,” said Gattis, a former state representative, gesturing at a knife in his belt. For more permanent identification, he brands each cow with his ranch’s 4G symbol and that cow’s specific number. Ear tags can also be ripped off by brush, he said, pointing out one cow that had lost its “earring.”
Nonetheless, more ear tags may be on the way for ranchers in Texas and across the nation. Proposed rules from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would require ear tags for adult cattle moving across state lines. In Texas, a proposal discussed this week by the Texas Animal Health Commission would require adult cattle — 18 months or older — to have ear tags whenever their ownership changes.
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