The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services's final rule on traceability will benefit both the states and the industries as a whole, according to Virginia state veterinarian Dr. Richard Wilkes.

"This final rule from USDA veterinary services gives us a framework to allow us to plan more effectively the steps we're going to try to accomplish with our industries to come into compliance with traceability," said Wilkes. "I think it will enhance our industry by improving the effectiveness with which we can respond to recognition of diseases of concern that we need to deal with from a state and federal government's perspective."

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Wilkes also thinks the traceability rule will be good for the international trade of U.S. poultry and red meat products. "I think it will enhance our industry's viability in the international community by being able to document that our surveillance is effective and make our trading partners more comfortable with our products."

The traceability rule will take effect March 11.