In this episode, AABP Executive Director Dr. Fred Gingrich is joined by Callahan Grund. Callahan serves as the Executive Director of U.S. Cattle Trace, a not-for-profit organization with a goal of developing a national infrastructure for disease traceability and encourage private industry’s use of the infrastructure for individualized management practices. U.S. Cattle Trace securely maintains and manages the data collected for disease traceability. The organization’s board of directors includes representation from the cow-calf, livestock market and feedyard sectors.
Traceability is the ability to track an item at any point in time. Animal health officials can perform disease traceability, however the goal of improving our disease traceability efforts involves the use of technology, such a RFID tags, to improve the efficiency and speed of disease traceback. The United States and India are the only countries of the top 10 beef exporting countries in the world to not have a national animal disease traceability program. Callahan discusses the different types of RFID tags, the advantages of ultra-high frequency tags, and the challenges of implementing animal disease traceability on a national scale. We also discuss opportunities for producers implementing traceability program to improve production and disease management in the beef industry
We discuss the efforts of the U.S. Cattle Trace Pilot Project and the goals of building the infrastructure for a hands-free system, evaluate if the technology worked and consider the economics of an animal disease traceability system. Callahan discusses the roadblocks of implementing this technology at each phase of the beef production phase and suggest that veterinarians can assist, especially cow-calf clients, in educating them on the importance of RFID’s and disease traceability to their operations and the U.S. beef industry.
Visit https://www.uscattletrace.org/ for more information about disease traceability and membership options for cow-calf, dairy producers, feedyards and auction markets.