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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of April 6, 2020

Title 9Chapter ISubchapter CPart 79 → §79.2


Title 9: Animals and Animal Products
PART 79—SCRAPIE IN SHEEP AND GOATS


§79.2   Identification and records requirements for sheep and goats in interstate commerce.

(a) No sheep or goat that is required to be individually identified or group identified by §79.3 may be sold, disposed of, acquired, exhibited, transported, received for transportation, offered for sale or transportation, loaded, unloaded, or otherwise handled in interstate commerce or commingled with such animals or be loaded or unloaded at a premises or animal concentration point (including premises that exhibit animals) where animals are received that have been in interstate commerce or from which animals are moved in interstate commerce unless each sheep or goat has been identified in accordance with this section.

(1) The sheep or goat must be identified to its flock of origin and to its flock of birth4 by the owner of the animal or his or her agent, at whichever of the following points in interstate commerce comes first:

4You need not identify an animal to its flock of birth or its flock of origin if this information is unknown because the animal changed ownership while it was exempted from flock of origin identification requirements in accordance with §79.6(a)(12). Such animals may be moved interstate with individual animal identification that is only traceable to the State of origin and to the owner of the animals at the time they were so identified. To use this exemption the person applying the identification must have supporting documentation indicating that the animals were born and had resided throughout their life in the State.

(i) Prior to the point of first commingling of the sheep or goats with sheep or goats from any other flock of origin;

(ii) Upon unloading of the sheep or goats at a livestock facility approved in accordance with §71.20 of this subchapter and that has agreed to act as an agent for the owner to apply official identification and prior to commingling with animals from another flock of origin. Such facilities may identify animals after sale if the facility maintains unidentified animals from different flocks of origin or, when required, different flocks of birth in separate enclosures until officially identified. The animals must be accompanied by an owner/hauler statement that contains the information needed for the livestock facility to officially identify the animals to their flock of origin and, when required, their flock of birth;

(iii) Upon transfer of ownership of the sheep or goats;

(iv) If the owner of the premises or the owner of the animal engages in the interstate commerce of animals, then prior to moving a sheep or goat from the premises on which it resides, unless the animals are moving to a livestock facility approved to handle the species and class of animal to be moved as described in §71.20 of this subchapter that has agreed to act as an agent for the owner to apply official identification and in accordance with paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section or to a slaughter plant listed in accordance with §71.21 of this subchapter as part of a group lot. Unless prohibited by State law or regulation, this does not preclude a person from moving animals as part of a group lot directly to another site in the same State to have official eartags that have been assigned to the animal's flock of origin in the National Scrapie Database applied to the animals;

(v) In the case of animals that have only resided on premises and in flocks owned by persons that do not engage in interstate commerce, upon unloading a sheep or goat at a livestock facility or other premises where animals are received that have been in interstate commerce or from which animals are moved in interstate commerce and prior to commingling with animals from another flock of origin. Such animals must be accompanied by an owner/hauler statement that contains the information needed to officially identify the animals to their flock of origin and, when required, their flock of birth; or

(vi) Before moving a sheep or goat across a State line, unless moving to an approved livestock facility that is approved to handle that species and class of animals as described in §71.20 of this subchapter that has agreed to act as an agent for the owner to apply official identification, and prior to commingling with animals from another flock of origin. Such animals must be accompanied by an owner/hauler statement that contains the information needed for the livestock facility to officially identify the animals to their flock of origin and, when required, their flock of birth.

(2) The sheep or goats must be identified and remain identified using a device or method approved in accordance with paragraph (k) of this section. All animals required to be individually identified by §79.3 shall be identified with official identification devices or methods. A list of approved identification devices and methods, including restrictions on their use, is available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal-health/scrapie. Written requests for approval of sheep or goat identification device types or methods not listed at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal-health/scrapie should be sent to the National Scrapie Program Coordinator, Strategy and Policy, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1235. If the Administrator determines that an identification device or method will provide an effective means of tracing sheep and goats in interstate commerce, APHIS will provide public notice that the device type or method, along with any restrictions on its use, has been added to the list of approved devices and methods of official sheep and goat identification.

(3) No person shall buy or sell, for his or her own account or as the agent of the buyer or seller, transport, receive for transportation, offer for sale or transportation, load, unload, or otherwise handle any animal that is in or has been in interstate commerce that has not been identified as required by this section including loading or unloading at a premises (including premises that exhibit animals) where animals are received that have been in interstate commerce or from which animals are moved in interstate commerce. No person shall commingle animals with any animal that is in or has been in interstate commerce that has not been identified as required by this section. If the person transporting animals is aware of any animal in the shipment that loses its identification to its flock of origin while in interstate commerce, the person transporting the animal is required to inform the receiving party of this fact, and it is the responsibility of the person who has control or possession of the animal upon unloading/delivery to identify the animal or have the animal identified prior to commingling it with any other animals. This shall be done by applying individual animal identification to the animal as required in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and recording the means of identification and the corresponding animal identification number on the waybill or other shipping document. If the flock of origin cannot be determined, all possible flocks of origin shall be listed on the record, or if this cannot be done, the animal must be identified with a slaughter only eartag and may only move in slaughter channels or, in the case of sheep, may be officially identified and moved for other purposes if the animal is inspected by an accredited veterinarian, found free of evidence of infectious or contagious disease and officially genotyped as AA QR or AA RR.

(b) The State Animal Health Official or Veterinary Services, Field Operations, Area Veterinarian in Charge (AVIC) responsible for the State involved, whoever is responsible for issuing official identification devices or numbers in that State and for assigning flock identification numbers and premises identification numbers in that State in the National Scrapie Database, may issue sets of unique serial numbers or flock identification/production numbers for use on official individual identification devices (such as eartags or tattoos). Flock identification/production numbers may only be assigned to owners of breeding flocks.

(1) Animals not in slaughter channels. Official identification numbers for use on animals not in slaughter channels may only be assigned either directly to the owner of a breeding flock for application to animals that originated in a breeding flock owned by them or, in the case of official serial numbers or serial number devices, to APHIS or State representatives or accredited veterinarians or other responsible individuals as described in paragraphs (b)(2) and (3) of this section APHIS or State representatives may apply official identification to animals or issue official identification to owners of breeding flocks for application to animals in those flocks. APHIS and State personnel who apply or issue official identification must provide to APHIS, in a manner acceptable to APHIS, assignment data associating the serial numbers applied to animals or issued to owners, to the flock of origin and, when required, the flock of birth. Accredited veterinarians who apply official serial numbers or devices when requested by APHIS a must provide to APHIS, in a manner acceptable to APHIS, assignment data associating the serial sequences applied to animals to the flock of origin and, when required, the flock of birth. One such method would be to enter the data into the National Scrapie Database. Such requests may be made directly to a person or persons or to accredited veterinarians as a group through amendment of the Scrapie Program Standards Volume 1: National Scrapie Eradication Program.

(2) Assignment of serial numbers. The official responsible for issuing eartags in a State may also assign serial numbers of official eartags to other responsible persons, such as 4-H leaders, if the State Animal Health Official and Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State involved agree that such assignments will improve scrapie control and eradication within the State. Such persons assigned serial numbers may either directly apply eartags to animals, or may reassign eartag numbers to producers. Such persons must maintain appropriate records in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section that permit traceback of animals to their flock of origin, or flock of birth when required, and must either reassign the tags in the National Scrapie Database or, if permitted by the Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State involved, provide a written record of the reassignment to the Field Office or the State Office for entry into the National Scrapie Database.

(3) Persons handling sheep and goats in commerce. Sets of unique individual identification serial numbers may be assigned to persons who handle sheep and goats, that did not originate in a breeding flock owned by them, if they apply to and are approved by the State Animal Health Official or the Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State in which the person maintains his or her business location, whichever is responsible for issuing official identification devices or numbers in that State and for assigning flock identification numbers and premises identification numbers in that State in the National Scrapie Database. When requested by APHIS, persons who apply official identification to sheep or goats that did not originate in a breeding flock owned by them must provide, in a manner acceptable to APHIS, assignment data associating assigned serial sequences to the flock of origin and, when required, the flock of birth. One such method would be to enter the data into the National Scrapie Database. The request may be made directly to a person or persons or to a class of persons through amendment of the Scrapie Program Standards Volume 1: National Scrapie Eradication Program. The State Animal Health Official or the Administrator may limit the assignment of official identification devices or numbers to persons, or classes of persons, for use on animals that did not originate in a breeding flock owned by them to slaughter only devices or numbers.

(4) Breed registries. Sets of unique individual identification numbers may also be assigned by the Administrator to breed registries that agree to reassign the sequences to the flock of origin and, and when required, the flock of birth and to provide associated registry identifiers such as registry tattoo numbers to APHIS in the National Scrapie Database.

(5) Noncompliance. In addition to any applicable criminal or civil penalties any person who fails to comply with the requirements of this section or that makes false statements in order to acquire official identification numbers or devices shall not be assigned official identification numbers or official identification devices for a period of at least 1 year. If a person who is not in compliance with these requirements has already been assigned such numbers, the Administrator may withdraw the assignment by giving notice to such person. Such withdrawal or failure to assign official identification numbers may be appealed in accordance with §79.4(c)(3). A person shall be subject to criminal and civil penalties if he or she continues to use assigned numbers that have been withdrawn from his or her use.

(c) No person shall apply a premises or flock identification number or a brand or earnotch pattern to an animal that did not originate on the premises or flock to which the number was assigned by a State or APHIS representative or to which the brand or earnotch pattern has been assigned by an official brand registry. This includes individual identification such as USDA eartags that have been assigned to a premises or flock and registration tattoos that contain prefixes that have been assigned to a premises or flock for use as premises or flock identification. Unless the number sequence was issued specifically for use on animals born in a flock, this would not preclude the owner of a flock from using an official premises or flock identification number tag assigned to that flock on an animal owned by him or her that resides in that flock but that was born or previously resided on a different premises as long as the records required in paragraph (g) of this section are maintained.

(d) No person shall sell or transfer an official identification device or number assigned to his or her premises or flock except when it is transferred with a sheep or goat to which it has been applied as official identification or as directed in writing by an APHIS or State representative.

(e) No person shall use an official identification device or number provided for the identification of sheep and goats other than for the identification of a sheep or goat.

(f) Persons who engage in the interstate commerce of animals including persons that handle or own animals that have been in interstate commerce or that purchase, acquire, sell, or dispose of sheep and/or goats from or to persons who engage in the interstate commerce of animals, whether or not the animals are required to be officially identified, must maintain business records (such as yarding receipts, sale tickets, invoices, and waybills) for 5 years. These persons must make the records available for inspection and copying by any authorized USDA or State representative upon that representative's request and presentation of his or her official credentials. The records must include the following information:

(1) The number of animals purchased or sold (or transferred without sale);

(2) The date of purchase, sale, or other transfer;

(3) The name and address of the person from whom the animals were purchased or otherwise acquired or to whom they were sold or otherwise transferred;

(4) The species, breed, and class of animal. If breed is unknown, for sheep the face color and for goats the type (milk, fiber, or meat) must be recorded instead;

(5) A copy of the brand inspection certificate for animals officially identified with brands or ear notches;

(6) A copy of any certificate or owner/hauler statement required for movement of the animals purchased, sold, or otherwise transferred; and

(7) If the flock of origin or the receiving flock is under a flock plan or post-exposure management and monitoring plan, any additional records required by the plan.

(g) Persons who apply official individual or group/lot identification to animals must maintain records for 5 years. These persons must make the records available for inspection and copying by any authorized USDA or State representative upon that representative's request and presentation of his or her official credentials. The records must include the following information:

(1) The flock identification number of the flock of origin, the name and address of the person who currently owns the animals, and the name and address of the owner of the flock of origin if different;

(2) The name and address of the owner of the flock of birth, if known, for animals in another flock and not already identified to flock of birth;

(3) The date the animals were officially identified;

(4) The number of sheep and the number of goats identified;

(5) The breed and class of the animals. If breed is unknown, for sheep the face color and for goats the type (milk, fiber, or meat) must be recorded instead;

(6) The official identification numbers applied to animals by species or the GIN applied in the case of a group lot;

(7) Whether the animals were identified with “Slaughter Only” or “Meat” identification devices; and

(8) Any GIN with which the animal was previously identified.

(h) Official identification devices are intended to provide permanent identification of livestock and to ensure the ability to find the source of animal disease outbreaks. Removal of these devices, including devices applied to imported animals in their countries of origin and recognized by the Administrator as official, is prohibited except at the time of slaughter, at any other location upon the death of the animal, or as otherwise approved by the State or Tribal animal health official or the Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State involved when a device needs to be replaced.

(1) All man-made identification devices affixed to sheep or goats moved interstate must be removed at slaughter and correlated with the carcasses through final inspection by means approved by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). If diagnostic samples, including whole heads, are taken, the identification devices must be packaged with the samples and must be left attached to approximately 1 inch of tissue or to the whole head to allow for identity testing and be correlated with the carcasses through final inspection by means approved by FSIS. Devices collected at slaughter must be made available to APHIS and FSIS.

(2) All official identification devices affixed to sheep or goat carcasses moved interstate for rendering must be removed at the rendering facility and made available to APHIS. If diagnostic samples, including whole heads, are taken, the identification devices must be packaged with the samples and must be left attached to approximately 1 inch of tissue or to the whole head to allow for identity testing.

(3) If a sheep or goat loses an official identification device except while in interstate commerce as described in paragraph (a)(3) of this section and needs a new one, the person applying the new official identification device must record the official identification number from the old device, if known, in addition to the information required to be recorded in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.

(i) Replacement of official identification devices for reasons other than loss include:

(1) Circumstances under which a State or Tribal animal health official or the Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State involved may authorize replacement of an official identification device include, but are not limited to:

(i) Deterioration of the device such that loss of the device appears likely or the number can no longer be read;

(ii) Infection at the site where the device is attached, necessitating application of a device at another location (e.g., a slightly different location of an eartag in the ear);

(iii) Malfunction of the electronic component of a radio frequency identification (RFID) device; or

(iv) Incompatibility or inoperability of the electronic component of an RFID device with the management system or unacceptable functionality of the management system due to use of an RFID device.

(2) Any time an official identification device is replaced, as authorized by the State or Tribal animal health official or the Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State involved, the person replacing the device must record the following information about the event and maintain the record for 5 years:

(i) The date when the device was removed;

(ii) The address of the location and the name, phone number and email address of the person responsible for the location where the device was removed;

(iii) The official identification number (to the extent possible) on the device removed;

(iv) The type of device removed (e.g., metal eartag, RFID eartag);

(v) The reason for the removal of the device;

(vi) The new official identification number on the replacement device; and

(vii) The type of replacement device applied.

(j) Beginning on April 24, 2019, no more than one official eartag may be applied to an animal; except that:

(1) Another official eartag may be applied providing it bears the same official identification number as an existing one.

(2) In specific cases when the need to maintain the identity of an animal is intensified (e.g., such as for export shipments, quarantined herds, field trials, experiments, or disease surveys), a State or Tribal animal health official or the Veterinary Services, Field Operations, AVIC responsible for the State involved may approve the application of a second official eartag. The person applying the second official eartag must record the following information about the event and maintain the record for 5 years: The date the second official eartag is added; the reason for the additional official eartag device; and the official identification numbers of both official eartags.

(3) An eartag with an animal identification number (AIN) beginning with the 840 prefix (either radio frequency identification or visual-only tag) may be applied to an animal that is already officially identified with another eartag. The person applying the AIN eartag must record the date the AIN tag is added and the official identification numbers of all official eartags on the animal and must maintain those records for 5 years.

(4) An official eartag that utilizes a flock identification number may be applied to a sheep or goat that is already officially identified with an official eartag if the animal has resided in the flock to which the flock identification number is assigned.

(k) Requirements for approval of official identification devices include:

(1) The Administrator may approve companies to produce official identification devices for use on sheep or goats. Devices may be plastic, metal, or other suitable materials and must be an appropriate size for use in sheep and goats. Devices must be able to legibly accommodate the required alphanumeric sequences. Devices must resist removal and be difficult to place on another animal once removed unless the construction of the device makes such tampering evident, but need not be tamper-proof. Devices must be readily distinguishable as USDA official sheep and goat identification devices; must carry the alphanumeric sequences, symbols, or logos specified by APHIS; must be an allowed color for the intended use, and must have a means of discouraging counterfeiting, such as use of a unique copyrighted logo or trade mark. Devices for use only on animals in slaughter channels must be medium blue and marked with the words “Meat” or “Slaughter Only”. Devices that use RFID must conform to ISO 11784 and ISO 11785 standards unless otherwise approved. The Administrator may specify the color, shape or size of a device for an intended use to make them readily identifiable.

(2) Written requests for approval of official identification devices for sheep and goats should be sent to the National Scrapie Program Coordinator, Strategy and Policy, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737-1235. The request must include:

(i) The materials used in the device and in the case of RFID the transponder type and data regarding the lifespan and read range.

(ii) Any available data regarding the durability of the device, durability and legibility of the identification numbers, rate of adverse reactions such as ear infections, and retention rates of the devices in animals, preferably sheep and/or goats.

(iii) A signed statement agreeing to:

(A) Send official identification devices only to a State or APHIS representative, to the owner of a premises or to the contact person for a premises at the address listed in the National Scrapie Database, or as directed by APHIS;

(B) When requested by APHIS, provide a report by State of all tags produced, including the tag sequences produced and the name and address of the person to whom the tags were shipped, and provide supplemental reports of this information when requested by APHIS;

(C) Maintain the security and confidentiality of all tag recipient information acquired as a result of being an approved tag manufacturer and utilize the information only to provide official identification tags; and

(D) Enter the sequences of tags shipped in the National Scrapie Database through an internet web page interface or other means specified by APHIS prior to shipping the identification device.

(iv) Twenty-five sample devices. Additional tags must be submitted if requested by APHIS.

(3) Approval will only be given for devices for which data have been provided supporting high legibility, readability (visual and RFID), and retention rates in sheep and goats that minimize injury throughout their lifespan, or for which there is a reasonable expectation of such performance. Approval to produce official identification devices will be valid for 1 year and must be renewed annually. The Administrator may grant provisional approval to produce devices for periods of less than 1 year in cases where there is limited or incomplete data. The Administrator may decline to renew a company's approval or suspend or withdraw approval if the devices do not show adequate retention and durability or cause injury in field use or if any of the requirements of this section are not met by the tag company. Companies shall be given 60 days' written notice of intent to withdraw approval. Any person who is approved to produce official identification tags in accordance with this section and who knowingly produces tags that are not in compliance with the requirements of this section, and any person who is not approved to produce such tags but does so, shall be subject to such civil penalties and such criminal liabilities as are provided by 18 U.S.C. 1001, 7 U.S.C. 8313, or other applicable Federal statutes. Such action may be in addition to, or in lieu of, withdrawal of approval to produce tags.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 0579-0101 and 0579-0469)

[84 FR 11189, Mar. 25, 2019; 84 FR 28202, June 18, 2019]

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