WSDA proposes to reduce fee to report some cattle sales
The Washington State Department of Agriculture plans to lower the per-head fee for electronically reporting cattle sales, a move the agency hopes will encourage more producers to use the online system. The fee will be 80 cents a head rather than 1.30 if the department follows through on its proposal.
"It's quite a price drop. It's the only one that's going down. We can use all the help we can get," Washington Cattlemen's Association lobbyist Mark Streuli said Friday.
The department set up electronic reporting several years ago as an alternative to a state brand inspector going out to check the transaction. Registering to report sales online will continue to cost $33 a year.
Whether the sales are reported online or checked by a brand inspector, the department collects a $1.50 per-head feed for the Washington Beef Commission and charges 23 cents a head to support its animal disease traceability program. The department will take public comments on the fee change until May 24 and tentatively plans to adopt it June 1.
At the same time, the department plans to adopt a rule allowing veterinarians and private field inspectors to check sales at public livestock markets, feedlots and slaughterhouses if state inspectors are not available.
The rule change will make permanent an emergency rule the department adopted because the COVID pandemic caused a shortage of state inspectors. Written comments can be sent to Gloriann Robinson, rules coordinator, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560. Comments can be sent by email to WSDARulesComments@agr.wa.gov or by fax to (360) 902-2092.
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