"A primary tool to respond to disease outbreaks is animal disease traceability. Tracing an infected animal back to where the animal may have been exposed to the disease as well as finding any animals it may have come into contact with enables us to find disease, quickly address it, and minimize harm to producers. In addition, an effective traceability framework also facilitates disease surveillance and promotes trade. The previous animal identification system managed by USDA was an initial attempt to fill gaps in traceability, especially in cattle. But the system was not widely accepted by stakeholders, and the Secretary announced a new approach to animal disease traceability in February 2010. [...] This document (Comprehensive Report and Implementation Plan) was initially provided to Congress in September 2010. This version reflects changes that were made after further input from stakeholders through the Traceability Regulation Working Group, a committee of State, Tribal and Federal representatives that was tasked with developing the proposed traceability rule. This revised report describes our current thinking about the rule and the plan to implement it."
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/