Court briefs filed in R-CALF’s RFID suit against USDA

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Court briefs filed in R-CALF’s RFID suit against USDA

Another step was made Monday in R-CALF USA’s lawsuit against the USDA over the use of radio frequency identification tags. 

The suit goes back to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 2013 interstate transportation of livestock rule requiring RFID tags, which was later dropped.  R-CALF USA and the New Civil Liberties Alliance attorney Harriet Hageman claim USDA also violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act starting in 2017 by establishing two unlawful advisory committees to help move the cattle industry to exclusive RFID tag use and reduce cattle producer opposition. 

Hageman says USDA conceded in a freedom of information request they did not follow advisory committee procedural requirements.

Court documents say producer Kenny Fox served on the Cattle Traceability Working Group until that group became deadlocked, and a new Producers Traceability Council was formed without Fox and other RFID opponents.

Hageman filed the plaintiffs opening briefs Monday.  The USDA has yet to respond.  No new court dates are scheduled.

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