The new program — from by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — hopes to better monitor and control the spread of disease in animals, Fox News reports.
The goal of the program is to be able to maintain a complete database that can connect the animals at each stage from farm to table. The current identification program is a step in that direction, though officials stress that it’s only part of the solution.
“This ensures that healthy animals can continue to move freely to processing facilities, providing a dependable and affordable source for consumers as well as protecting producer’s livelihoods,” a spokeswoman for the USDA said in a statement.
This is the second attempt by the federal government to track and identify all farm animals in the U.S. A 2006 voluntary program was scrapped when farmers complained about the hassle and expense.