WSR 98-19-087

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

[Filed September 22, 1998, 3:28 p.m.]



Supplemental Notice to WSR 98-15-157.

Title of Rule: Livestock inspection and identification.

Purpose: To clarify livestock identification rules regarding public livestock market inspection procedures and certification of veterinarians as livestock inspectors.

Other Identifying Information: These changes are supplementary to a major rewrite of the rules adopted September 11, 1998.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 16.57.160, 16.57.240, 16.57.350, 16.65.050.

Statute Being Implemented: Chapters 16.57, 16.65 RCW.

Summary: These supplementary rules clarify the exemption of youth livestock shows from the definition of "farmers cooperative association"; delete a redundant section regarding public market inspection procedures; clarify the department's role in investigations; clarify the use of purchaser's invoice as an inspection clearance; and further clarifies the certification process for veterinarians to perform livestock inspections.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: These changes further update the department's procedures to reduce the cost of mandatory inspections for the livestock industry due to a legislative mandated reduction in fees.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Julie C. Sandberg, 1111 Washington Street, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, (360) 902-1850.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Veterinary Medical Association, private.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: These updates will clarify the definition of "farmers cooperative association" so that youth livestock shows are not bound by public market inspection requirements and can utilize less costly means in meeting mandatory inspections; delete a redundant section which restates language already existing for inspections at public livestock markets; allow for veterinary hospitals with more than three veterinarians wishing to be certified a less costly means of participating in the program; reduce duplication of paperwork for livestock producers when purchasing animals at public livestock markets; and provide more cost-effective means of providing for inspection by the department.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Updates chapter 16-607 WAC which was adopted September 11, 1998, in that it:

Deletes WAC 16-607-040 to avoid redundancy;

Clarifies WAC 16-607-055 to ensure language is consistent with statute;

Clarifies WAC 16-607-060 regarding cost for veterinary hospitals to certify more than three employees and makes inspection language consistent with private treaty language, WAC 16-607-050;

Adds WAC 16-607-120 from existing and updated WAC 16-604-010 to clarify inspection procedures at public livestock markets; and

Clarifies WAC 16-607-005(8) definition.



A small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW.



Small Business Economic Impact Statement

supplemental

Chapter 16-607 WAC

Livestock Inspection and Identification



Rule Summary: These five changes are supplementary to an earlier draft of proposed changes to five livestock identification rules which have been consolidated into a new chapter 16-607 WAC. These supplementary rule changes add further clarification to rules that were proposed July 22, 1998.

These supplementary rules clarify the exemption of youth livestock shows from the definition of "farmers cooperative association"; delete a redundant section regarding public market inspection procedures; clarify the department's role in investigations; further updates the certification process for veterinarians to perform livestock inspections and clarify the use of the purchaser's invoice as an inspection clearance for livestock removed from public livestock markets.

These changes resulted from ongoing review of the proposed rules which were filed July 22, 1998 and from continuing input from livestock industry groups and neighboring states' livestock identification programs. These changes will not impose more than minor costs on any business and the department has determined that the changes will, in fact, under certain circumstances, reduce costs to industry. Revenue reductions occurred when a legislatively mandated 20% reduction in fees became effective July 1, 1998.

Affected Groups: The following groups will be affected: Groups sponsoring youth livestock sales activities such as agricultural fairs, 4-H or FFA organizations, fourteen public livestock markets (SIC Code 42252); any individual involved in a private livestock sale (SIC Code 11299) as well as up to four hundred veterinarians if they wish to become certified by the Department of Agriculture to issue livestock inspections. Most of these types of activities would involve businesses with less than fifty employees.

Cost: The livestock identification program receives no general fund tax dollars and is supported by inspection, licensing and brand recording fees paid by the livestock industry. Over seventy percent of the program's expenditures are in staff salaries/benefits because of the current requirements for mandatory inspection by the department at various points. When expenses must be reduced, service delivery in the field through staff reduction is the category that is affected.

The cost to youth livestock shows will be reduced from the current time/mileage charges to have a department inspector travel to the activity and perform inspection to simplify the cost of self-inspection certificates which include current cattle inspection fees ($.60/head) plus the $1.00 Beef Commission assessment which is passed on to the Washington State Beef Commission.

If a veterinarian wishes to become certified to perform livestock inspections he/she must pay a three-year $35.00 fee. This rule change provides for veterinary hospitals with more than three veterinarians wishing to become certified to pay a maximum of $100.00.

Use of the purchase invoice as the inspection clearance from livestock markets reduces duplicative paperwork. Currently, staff completes separate inspection certificates for all purchasers when many buyers of unbranded animals do not pick up the inspection certificates. Under the proposed system, the purchaser's invoice will become the inspection clearance to remove livestock from the market. For out-of-state movement, department inspectors will stamp the invoice once they have marked any brands. Buyers can request that a separate inspection certificate be written at no additional charge. There will be no additional recordkeeping required for the public livestock markets. The use of the purchaser invoice will reduce the paperwork which livestock buyers receive at markets.

Current System: Youth livestock activity sponsors currently submit a special sale application and an inspector is assigned to the sale to inspect livestock and prepare inspection certificates. The charge is the higher of the cost per head of cattle ($.60) or time/mileage. Current time and mileage fees are $15.00 per hour and $.315 per mile and include travel time to and from the inspection location and time spent performing the inspection.

At the present time, when a producer moves livestock out of state, they must incur the cost of a veterinarian to issue a health certificate. In addition, the producer must also pay for a state brand inspector to make a trip to inspect the livestock and issue the livestock inspection certificate.

At livestock markets, purchasers are provided an invoice that serves as the weigh ticket and provides information on the animal(s) purchased. The buyer then may pick up the inspection certificate that has the same information from the brand inspector. Many purchasers of unbranded animals have no need for the separate inspection certificates and don't pick them up. The preparation of unneeded inspection certificates is not a good use of staff time.

Proposed System: Youth livestock activity sponsors will purchase self-inspection certificates in advance of a sale when they apply for their special sale permit. They will complete the paperwork documenting the sales transaction and provide the purchaser with required records.

These proposed rules will establish a certification program for veterinarians to perform inspections when they are already at a producer's facility to issue a health certificate for the livestock to move out of state.

Hospitals wishing to certify more than three veterinarians to perform livestock inspections and issue certificates will pay a maximum of $100.00 for the certification of specified veterinarians.

Department brand inspectors will maintain the current level of inspection for all cattle and horses entering the public livestock market. The purchaser's invoice, issued by the market will become the inspection clearance to remove livestock from the market since an impound notice would have been written for animals not authorized to be removed. Department inspectors will stamp the invoice once they have marked any brands for out-of-state movement. Buyers can request that a separate inspection certificate be written at no additional charge.

Industry Outreach: The agency discussed the issue of exempting youth livestock activities from department inspection at previous Livestock Identification Advisory Board meetings after receiving comments from the organizers of these shows that the costs of time/mileage were becoming prohibitive to the youth and the show sponsors. Agency staff worked with a subcommittee of the Washington State Veterinary Medical Association in drafting language to implement the statutory language authorizing a certification program and to mitigate the participation fees.

Mailings regarding the proposed rule changes were sent to Livestock Identification Advisory Board members, Public Livestock Markets, Certified Feed Lots and USDA Slaughter Plants, Western State's Livestock Identification Programs as well as all Livestock Identification program staff. Additionally, notice of these changes was provided to all participants at hearings conducted in Moses Lake on August 25 and in Olympia on August 26 as well as being discussed at those hearings. Due to the change in some of this language from the original language filed on July 22, 1998, it was decided to conduct a supplemental hearing to ensure that all interested persons had the opportunity to review the proposed changes.

Benefits and Mitigation: The following is a list of mitigation efforts developed for these rules although costs are determined to be minor:

(1) The cost of compliance with the proposed rules will not cause livestock producers to lose sales or revenue--these rules make it easier to obtain necessary paperwork at less cost than paying for time/mileage for in-state sales; for youth livestock activities the inspection fees will be reduced since time/mileage will no longer be necessary.

(2) The fee veterinarians pay for certification was set for a three-year period to coincide with their accreditation rather than a usual annual fee; this reduces the level of annual renewal activity for the agency as well. The $100.00 per veterinary hospital maximum was set to encourage more participation in the program and to mitigate costs.

(3) No additional recordkeeping is required for public livestock markets; in fact the use of the purchaser's invoice reduces the paperwork by 50% required for buyers to receive at markets. If separate inspection certificates are requested, department staff can provide those documents at no cost to the requestor.

(4) Veterinarians certified to issue brand certificates can issue them simultaneously when issuing health certificates for out-of-state movement. This procedure should make it easier for producers to schedule necessary inspections when a department inspector is not readily available and reduce the cost for the producer in not having two farm calls from separate inspections.

(5) Technical assistance and oversight will continue to be provided by the department. Inspection staff will focus their efforts on inspection/identification of livestock prior to movement out-of-state and when consigning to public livestock markets.

(6) The department will continue to review verified complaints and assist with disputes as time and staffing allow.

Julie C. Sandberg, Assistant Director, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Consumer and Producer Protection Division, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, phone (360) 902-1850, fax (360) 902-2086.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency in section 201.

Hearing Location: Fine Arts Building, Kittitas County Fairgrounds, Ellensburg, Washington, on October 28, 1998, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Cathy Jensen by October 21, 1998, TDD (360) 902-1996.

Submit Written Comments to: Dannie McQueen, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Administrative Regulations, P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, fax (360) 902-2092, by 5:00 p.m., October 28, 1998.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 30, 1998.

September 22, 1998

Julie C. Sandberg

Assistant Director



AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 98-19-037, filed 9/11/98, effective 10/12/98)



WAC 16-607-005  Definitions. (1) "Association of livestock breeders" means any properly incorporated association whose membership is made up of livestock breeders.

(2) "Brand" means a permanent fire brand, or any artificial mark, other than an individual identification symbol, approved by the director to be used in conjunction with a brand or by itself.

(3) "Brand inspection" or "livestock inspection" means the examination of livestock or livestock hides for brands or any means of identifying livestock or livestock hides including the examination of documents providing evidence of ownership.

(4) "Certificate of permit" or "transportation permit" means a form prescribed by and obtained from the director that is completed by the owner or a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner to show the ownership of livestock. It does not evidence inspection of livestock.

(5) "Collecting point" means livestock inspection points designated by the Washington state beef commission to collect beef commission assessment payments directly from cattle producers and remit to the Washington state beef commission.

(6) "Department" means the department of agriculture of the state of Washington.

(7) "Director" means the director of the department or his/her duly authorized representative.

(8) "Farmers Cooperative Association" means any properly incorporated cooperative association whose membership is made up of livestock producers. This does not include livestock youth organizations such as 4-H, FFA, or other junior livestock groups.

(9) "Individual identification symbol" means a permanent mark placed on a horse for the purpose of individually identifying and registering the horse and which has been approved for use as such by the director.

(10) "Inspection certificate" means a certificate issued by the director or a veterinarian certified by the director documenting the ownership of an animal based on an inspection of the animal. It includes an individual identification certificate.

(11) "Licensee" means any person licensed to operate a market under chapter 16.65 RCW.

(12) "Livestock" means all cattle, horses, burros, and mules of whatever species, breed or age.

(13) "Lot" means livestock of one ownership.

(14) "Market" means public livestock market as defined in RCW 16.65.010(1).

(15) "Person" means a natural person, individual, firm, partnership, corporation, company, society, and association, and every officer, agent or employee thereof. This term shall import either the singular or the plural as the case may be.

(16) "Production record brand" means a number brand that is used for production identification purposes only.

(17) "Purchase invoice" means the invoice issued by a public livestock market to the purchaser of cattle or horses consigned to the market.

(18) "Self-inspection certificate" means a form prescribed by and obtained from the director that is used for self-inspection of cattle or horses and is signed by the buyer and seller of the cattle or horses.



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NEW SECTION



WAC 16-607-055  Review of complaints and procedures. (1) The department may review or investigate verified complaints filed regarding ownership disputes.

(2) The department will regularly evaluate inspection procedures and recordkeeping at established livestock inspection points through unscheduled visits during normal business hours.



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AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending WSR 98-19-037, filed 9/11/98, effective 10/12/98)



WAC 16-607-060  Certification of veterinarians to issue inspection certificates. The director may certify veterinarians licensed and accredited in Washington state to issue inspection certificates for livestock.

(1) No veterinarian may issue an inspection certificate unless that individual has met the certification requirements and paid the certification fee.

(2) Application for certification is on a form prescribed by the director. The application will include the following information:

(a) The full name and principal business address of the individual applying for certification.

(b) The applicant's Washington state veterinary license number.

(c) The geographic area in which the applicant will provide service.

(d) A statement regarding the applicant's experience with large animals, especially cattle and horses.

(e) Whether the applicant is requesting certification to issue inspection certificates for cattle or horses or both.

(f) The signature of the veterinarian requesting certification.

(g) Any other reasonable information the department finds necessary to carry out the purpose of this chapter.

(3) The fee for certification is thirty-five dollars. If more than three applicants are employed by the same veterinary hospital there shall be a maximum certification fee of one hundred dollars for all veterinarians employed by that facility. Each hospital will submit a list of veterinarians to be certified. The certification expires on the third December 31st following the date of issuance.

(4) All veterinarians applying for certification must complete training provided by the department. Training will include but not be limited to the reading of printed brands and brands or other marks on live animals, completion of official documents and review of satisfactory ownership documents. The department will provide a copy of the most current brand book and any supplements issued to date to each person certified.

(5) The department will maintain a list of veterinarians certified to perform livestock inspection. The list is available upon request to interested persons.

(6) Inspections by veterinarians certified by the department are conducted upon request and provided at the discretion of the veterinarian.

((6)) (7) Certified veterinarians must submit required inspection fees to the department with copies of each certificate issued. An additional fee may be charged that is separate from fees collected under RCW 16.57.220 and WAC 16-607-065.

((7)) (8) The department may withdraw or deny approval of certified veterinarians to perform livestock inspection under the following circumstances:

(a) For knowingly making false or inaccurate statements regarding qualifications on an application.

(b) For knowingly making or acquiescing in false or inaccurate statements on livestock inspection certificates as to the date or location of the inspection, marks or brands on the livestock inspected, owner's name or any other statement material to the livestock inspected.



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Reviser's note: The typographical errors in the above section occurred in the copy filed by the agency and appear in the Register pursuant to the requirements of RCW 34.08.040.



NEW SECTION



WAC 16-607-120  Livestock inspection procedures--Public livestock markets. (1) It is the responsibility of the licensee to identify each head of cattle and horses consigned to a market by placing a numbered tag or other method of identification as approved by the director on each animal before the animals are inspected. The director may exempt from individual identification requirements certain lots of one-brand or no-brand cattle. The licensee or any consignor shall, at the request of the director, make visible any brand on any animal. The licensee is responsible for the moving and yarding of livestock necessary for inspection.

(2) No person shall remove any cattle or horses from the premises of any market without first obtaining a release from the licensee. The licensee or any agent or employee of the licensee shall not allow the removal of any cattle or horses from the premises of the market without first obtaining a livestock inspection clearance for the cattle or horses to be removed. The purchase invoice serves as the inspection clearance. The purchaser may request that the director issue an inspection certificate at no additional cost.

(3) Whenever any cattle or horses are offered for sale at a market and not sold, the identical animals may be offered for sale at the same market within eight days of the original inspection date without being required to pay a second livestock inspection fee, upon presentation of satisfactory proof that inspection fees previously were paid. The unsold cattle or horses must be presented for inspection without any animals having been taken from, or other animals having been added to, such lot or group of livestock and must be retained on the premises where first offered for sale within the time limit specified above.



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Washington State Code Reviser's Office