The United States Department of Agriculture has again backed off on a requirement that cattle and bison traveling across state lines must have radio frequency identification tags. The mandate was introduced in April, but was withdrawn Oct. 25 after pushback from ranchers and industry professionals said the regulation is unsustainably driving up the cost of beef production.

In April, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a part of the USDA, published the 2019 RFID Plan, which was originally intended to go into effect Jan. 1. The most notable requirement for ranchers was the mandate that sexually intact livestock over 18 months of age intended for slaughter, exhibition, dairy production, and rodeo or recreational events have a radio frequency identification ear tag.

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