Van Zandt County extension agent Tommy Phillips is reminding the public that the Texas Animal Health Commission has announced details of the new Cattle Traceability Rule.

Phillips says East Texas is one of the leading cow-calf production centers in the country.

“Van Zandt County is an integral component to the areas premiere standing,” said Phillips.

The amended rule permanently cancels the brucellosis test requirement for adult cattle at change of ownership, which inadvertently eliminated automatic eartagging.

“Although testing of adult cattle is no longer required with the rule change, all sexually intact cattle, parturient or post parturient, or 18 months of age and older changing ownership must still be officially identified with Commission approved permanent identification,” said Phillips. “This change primarily affects beef cattle, as dairy cattle in Texas have had an even more stringent identification requirement in place since 2008.”

Before August of 2011, official identification devices such as ear tags were applied automatically at the time a brucellosis test was performed. The inadvertent loss of the identification devices applied to cattle when brucellosis testing stopped has threatened TAHC’s ability to effectively trace cattle as part of any ongoing disease investigation.

The Van Zandt County Extension office will begin handing out ear tags on Thursday, November 15th.