The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) has approved the Four States Live Stock Sale in Hagerstown as an official tagging facility, which allows the auctions to apply official identification to animals as required by the USDA Animal Disease Traceability Rule (ADT).
The traceability rules are designed to help quickly locate animals involved in a disease outbreak as well as to release unaffected animals from an outbreak investigation. These rules require all animals except feeder beef breeds, to have official identification prior to interstate movement. (Feeder beef breeds are expected to be included in the future.) Animals that are moved interstate to an approved tagging facility are exempted from the official identification requirement provided they are identified upon entry in commerce.
Approved tagging sites can accept animals from other states and allow Maryland animals to move from the facility to most other states without the need for a veterinary inspection, which can be costly. Tagging facilities may charge for tagging services, but the Four States auctions are presently providing the service for free. Owners using other tagging facilities may avoid charges by tagging their animals prior to leaving the farm and providing those numbers upon entry in the market.
Other tagging facilities in the state include the Westminster Livestock Auction in Carroll County and the Grantsville and Friends Livestock Auctions in Garrett County. At least one other is expected to be operational in late summer.
MDA is offering free metal tags for cattle and swine to producers who register their premise(s). More information is available on our website or call 410-841-5810