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Introduction to Traceability 

Animal disease traceability (ADT), or knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, when and where they have been, and what other animals they have had contact with, is very important to ensure a rapid response and recovery if and when animal disease events take place. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the public. Animal Disease Traceability is not a food safety tool, and it cannot prevent animal disease. It is a livestock-tracing tool necessary to efficiently respond to animal health disease events. 
ADT systems record the movement of animals from the farm of birth to livestock auctions, other owners, shows and exhibits, and feedlots and slaughter yards. This is done by applying official identification to animals that are moving out of state and recording those movements on various animal movement forms and documents. Those forms are submitted to and stored by state and federal officials. If a disease outbreak occurs from one of those state, federal officials can look back through those forms and documents to determine where an animal has been.  
Having animals properly identified and their movements recorded on official forms and documents allows state and federal personnel to minimize the effects of animal disease outbreaks. The quicker and more accurately state and federal personnel can determine where a sick animal has been, the better they can keep the disease from spreading to other animals and farms to protect animal and human health while minimizing interruptions to the food supply chain and aim to reduce economic impacts to producers.  
Animal disease traceability (ADT):  
  • ​Helps prepare for animal health and food supply emergencies 
  • Allows rapid notification of livestock and poultry stakeholders during a disease outbreak 
  • Helps track and identify exposed animals in a disease outbreak 
  • Reduces the impact of an emergency on producers and the industry 
  • Allows for quicker returns to normal business operations in the event of an emergency
  • Can minimize the number of animals and producers impacted by a disease outbreak 


Animal Health
635 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-986-4680
Fax: 503-986-4734