Meat & Livestock News

Advocating for Voluntary Traceability in the US Beef Industry

A butcher is cutting raw meat into pieces while smiling at the camera.

Emphasising Voluntary Measures for Disease Traceability

An Iowa cattle producer, Justin Robbins, has voiced the need for advancing animal disease traceability within the US beef industry. Robbins, who operates a cow/calf business near Scranton, Iowa, shared his insights with Brownfield, highlighting the importance of voluntary traceability measures to safeguard the US cattle herd.

The Need for Producer-Led Traceability

Robbins stresses that any future traceability regulations should ensure the privacy of producers. He advocates for a system where producers maintain control, fearing that mandatory regulations would diminish their voice and subject them to stringent government mandates.

“We need to be in the driver’s seat so the traceability can be voluntary,” Robbins asserts, emphasising the significance of producer involvement in shaping these measures.

Addressing Global Disease Threats

The cattle producer points out the heightened risk of foreign animal diseases, citing global incidents like foot and mouth disease and swine flu. Robbins argues that the absence of a national traceability system could exacerbate the impact of such outbreaks in the US.

He believes that a robust traceability system is crucial for protecting the interests of the beef industry across the country, from coast to coast.

Involvement in Industry Efforts

Robbins has actively participated in a traceability working group for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association over the past year. His comments were made at the 2023 Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit, where he shared his perspectives on the future of disease traceability in the beef sector.

The call for voluntary traceability measures by an experienced Iowa cattle producer underscores the industry’s need to balance regulatory compliance with producer autonomy. As global disease threats loom, the US beef industry faces the challenge of developing effective, producer-led traceability strategies to protect its livestock and interests.