Southern Oklahoma cattle ranchers William and Karen Payne are relieved for the time-being, now that a USDA requirement has been placed on hold by President Trump.

Oklahoma cattle ranchers William and Karen Payne are relieved for the time-being, now that a USDA requirement has been placed on hold by President Trump.

The Paynes own and operate Destiny Ranch, based in Saint Louis.

This week, an animal ID mandate that was due to go into effect Jan. 1, 2023, was put on the shelf — at least for now. The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) requirement was to have RFID (Radio Frequency identification) ear tags on all cattle and bison over a year and a half old, if they were going to be shipped across state lines.

In April 2018, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had posted a fact sheet to provide producers with information about the agency’s guidelines and goals related to Animal Disease Traceability. The mandate would have become effective in two years.

After Trump's executive orders this month, though, APHIS issued a statement saying, “Since the fact sheet was posted, APHIS has listened to the livestock industry’s feedback. In light of these comments and current Executive Branch policy, APHIS believes that we should revisit those guidelines.”

The APHIS statement further reads, “Consistent with these orders, APHIS has decided not to implement the requirements outlined in the April 2019 Fact Sheet regarding the type of identification devices that USDA-APHIS will regard as official ear tags and the dates by which they must be applied to cattle.”

The fact sheet outlining the requirements has been taken down from the website; APHIS stated it was withdrawn because it did not meet Trump’s government transparency requirements outlined in Executive Orders 13891 and 13892.

“Recent executive orders have highlighted the need for transparency and communication on the issues set forth in the fact sheet before placing any new requirements on American farmers and ranchers,” the APHIS statement reads.

Watch for more about what local cattle ranchers are facing due to recent legislation.