The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has finalized a rule that will make updates to identification requirements for cattle imported to the United States from Mexico. The revision aims to simplify the branding process and help to ensure the traceability of Mexican cattle once they arrive in the U.S.
Feeder cattle will now need be branded with a single “M” on the right hip, with breeding bovines being branded with a single “M” on the right shoulder. An “MX” ear tattoo will remain an option for breeder cattle instead of a brand, since they have not caused a readability problem and are considered a permanent form of identification.
APHIS has indicated the changes will help to reduce or eliminate branding errors, rebranding and cattle rejections during port-of-entry inspections. USDA published the final rule on December 14, and it will become effective on January 14, 2019.