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The final Animal Disease Traceability rule has been published in the Federal Register and will become effective March 11. 

Under the A-D-T rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation. The use of brands, tattoos and brand registration are accepted as official identification when accepted by the shipping and receiving states or tribes. For cattle and bison moved directly to slaughter, back-tags will be accepted as an alternative to official ear-tags.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Simmons says the announcement that a separate rule making process will take place for beef cattle under 18 months of age is the most important to cattle producers. The final rule currently exempts beef cattle under 18 months of age from the official identification requirement unless they are moved interstate for shows, rodeos or recreational events.