What’s the industry vibe on electronic animal ID?

Recent surveys show growing support for electronic animal identification (EID) for cattle.

Nevil Speer

April 12, 2018

2 Min Read
What’s the industry vibe on electronic animal ID?

Last week’s Industry At A Glance focused on producer support around the concept of traceability. The importance of that focus stems from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Beef Industry Long Range Plan (2016-2020) that included the strategic objective to, “Conduct a feasibility study to understand the economic opportunity of opening new and expanding markets…and the lost opportunity in the event of an animal disease outbreak.”

The data from last week’s column was sourced from a new report:  U.S. Beef Identification and Traceability Systems:  Opportunities, Obstacles and Incentives Across the Value Chain. The comprehensive study, performed by World Perspectives, includes literature review, economic analyses, industry surveys and qualitative interviews.  

Meanwhile, this past week, USDA released its new Animal Disease Traceability report. The report, “provides an overview of the Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) program review…” One of the key components of USDA’s report (item #4) revolves around “electronic identification (EID) system for cattle.” USDA notes that, “Possibly the most significant change in stakeholder opinion since the establishment of the current ADT framework in 2013 is an increase in support for EID for cattle.”  

That observation is underpinned by the World Perspectives survey. Accordingly, this week’s illustration highlights opposition/support for EID as a system component – categorized by herd size. While there is a sizeable portion of producers who strongly oppose EID across all herd sizes, there’s a greater proportion who responded in the 3, 4, or 5 (strongly support) category. Across all categories of herd sizes, the response varies from 64% to 74% in the 3-to-5 category.  

What are your perspectives regarding EID as part of a broader traceability system? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Nevil Speer is based in Bowling Green, Ky., and serves as vice president of U.S. operations for AgriClear, Inc. – a wholly-owned subsidiary of TMX Group Limited. The views and opinions of the author expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the TMX Group Limited.

About the Author(s)

Nevil Speer

Nevil Speer serves as an industry consultant and is based in Bowling Green, KY.

Nevil Speer has extensive experience and involvement with the livestock and food industry including various service and consultation projects spanning such issues as market competition, business and economic implications of agroterrorism, animal identification, assessment of price risk and market volatility on the producer segment, and usage of antibiotics in animal agriculture.
Dr. Speer writes about many aspects regarding agriculture and the food industry with regular contribution to BEEF and Feedstuffs.  He’s also written several influential industry white papers dealing with issues such as changing business dynamics in the beef complex, producer decision-making, and country-of-origin labeling.
He serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Institute for Animal Agriculture.
Dr. Speer holds both a PhD in Animal Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.

Contact him at [email protected].

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