Wyoming House Bill (HB) 229—the Livestock Identification Choice Act—passed the House Agriculture Committee on an 8-0-1 vote with one member abstaining.
The bill sponsored by 11 representatives and five senators gives the state’s ranchers the choice of selecting any animal identification device on adult cattle and bison when the animals are moved interstate. In 2019, the USDA announced livestock producers must use radio-frequency identification (RFID) eartags beginning Jan. 1, 2023.
Bill Bullard, CEO of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF), says HB 229 “sets an example of how a state can effectively protect both its citizens and industries from unlawful federal-agency overreach.” R-CALF, along with ranchers from Wyoming and South Dakota, filed a lawsuit against USDA’s mandate in 2019. USDA withdrew the mandate, and is currently reviewing their next move.