USDA is extending its public comment period on its proposed rule to strengthen animal disease traceability regulations by requiring ear tags to be visually and electronically readable in order to be recognized for use as official tags for interstate movement of cattle and bison.

The rule would apply to the following classes of cattle crossing state lines: cattle sexually intact and 18 months of age or older; all dairy cattle; and cattle and bison of any age used for rodeo, recreational events, shows or exhibitions.

The rule also proposes to change the definition of “dairy cattle” to include any cattle raised under the same management as purebred dairy breeds. The deadline has been extended to April 19.

Cattle industry organizations are reviewing the proposed rule and preparing comments.

To submit a comment online, visit and search for docket ID APHIS-2021-0020.

Comments may be submitted by mail to Docket No. APHIS-2021-0020, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.