Animal Disease Traceability

What is ADT?

Animal disease traceability — knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been, and when — is important to ensure a rapid response when animal disease events take place. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the government.

The federal Traceability for Livestock Moved Interstate rule, effective March 2013, established minimum national official identification and documentation requirements for the traceability of livestock moving interstate. The species covered in the rule include cattle and bison, sheep and goats, swine, horses and other equines, captive cervids (e.g., deer and elk), and poultry. When these animals move interstate, unless otherwise exempt, they must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) or other movement document agreed upon by both the sending and receiving states.

USDA APHIS hosted a series of public meetings across the country in 2017 to hear from the public about the successes and challenges of the current ADT framework, specifically for traceability in cattle and bison. For a summary of feedback on the ADT Program, click here.

Official Livestock Identification Reference Deck

Download a printable version of the Official Livestock Identification Reference Deck here. This reference is a species-specific guide to Kansas- and USDA-approved official identification, including where to source ear tags.

Producers may apply official identification to their own animals before they are transported interstate, and metal ear tags are available at approved tag distributors across Kansas. Click here for a list of tag distributors in your area.

2024 Final USDA ADT Rule

On May 9, 2024, USDA- APHIS published into the Federal Register the Final Animal Disease Traceability Rule “Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison” making visually and electronically readable tags the only form of official identification for sexually intact cattle and bison 18 months of age and older, all rodeo, exhibition cattle, and dairy cattle moving interstate. This new rule will become effective November 5, 2024. USDA’s Final 2024 Animal Disease Traceability rule only changes the type of tag that can be used, it does not change the class of animals that are required to be tagged.


Additional changes to 9 CFR §86 include the following:

  • Additional recordkeeping requirements for the retrieval of official identification distribution records, certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) within 48 hours of the request made by federal or state animal health officials.
  • Clarification on how dairy breeds are defined.
    • Dairy Cattle as defined in 9 CFR §86.1: “All cattle, regardless of age or sex or current use, that are of a breed(s) or offspring of a breed used to produce milk or other dairy products for human consumption, including, but not limited to, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, Holstein, Jersey, Guernsey, Milking Shorthorn, and Red and Whites.”

Additional information can be found in the documents below or at: Traceability (

ADT General Requirements

If you are moving livestock into Kansas, please visit our Kansas Import web page here, or call 785-565-6601. For a listing of all states' livestock import requirements, visit here.
Under the final rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate must be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as an owner-shipper statement.
For more specific details about the regulation, visit the USDA-APHIS Traceability website, or call the Kansas Animal Health office at 785-564-6601.
The requirements do not apply to livestock moving:
     •      Entirely within Tribal land that straddles a State line, and the Tribe has a separate 
             traceability system from the States in which its lands are located
     •      To a custom slaughter facility in accordance with Federal and State regulations for
             preparation of meat

Other exemptions are applied on a species-specific basis.

ADT for Sheep and Goats

On March 25, 2019, APHIS updated its scrapie regulations and program standards, which included updating identification requirements for goats and certain recordkeeping requirements for sheep and goats. These rules apply to sheep or goats that are moving or have moved in interstate commerce, that have resided on premises where interstate commerce is conducted, or that are owned by people who engage in interstate commerce. This includes animals moved though markets or other sites where interstate commerce occurs even if the particular animal has not left the state.

For detailed information, click the links below to reference each document:
USDA's Sheep and Goat Identification webpage with additional resources may be accessed by clicking here.

Electronic Interstate Certificates of Veterinary Inspection (CVI)

Digital technology continues to develop and helps with multiple aspects of our daily lives. Multiple options are available to aid veterinarians with increased accuracy and convenience. A few of the benefits of electronic options for CVI include: utilizing equipment already on-hand (smartphones, tablets, computers), no postage stamps, no trips to the post office, automatic submission to the DAH office (with some electronic options).

To learn more about electronic CVIs, including how to get started and equipment needed, click here.

Cattle Trace

KDA is proud to participate in U.S. Cattle Trace, a public/private partnership to create a pilot project to test a cattle disease traceability system. Read more about U.S. Cattle Trace at their website,