Lummis, Hageman, Barrasso Introduce Bill to Protect Wyoming Ranchers from Overzealous Biden Mandate

June 14, 2024

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Senator Cynthia Lummis, Representative Harriet Hageman and Senator John Barrasso (all R-WY) introduced legislation to address the Biden administration’s unsubstantiated final rule mandating electronic identification ear tags for bison and cattle.

“Wyoming’s ranchers provide some of the highest quality meat in the world, yet this administration continues to find creative ways to make their jobs harder,” said Lummis. “Forcing Wyoming’s ranchers to shell out their hard-earned money to trace and chip their livestock not only threatens to erode their privacy but puts unnecessary pressure on our supply chain. As a rancher myself, I understand the devastating impact this will have on our industry and will do everything in my power to block this administration’s chronic federal overreach.” 

“This rule is a solution in search of a problem that will advance a federal mandate which the American ranching community will have to pay for. America produces the highest quality meat in the world and there is nothing wrong with our traditional disease traceability system. This unfunded mandate raises serious privacy concerns for ranchers and their herds, with the potential to lock ranchers out of their traditional markets, thereby furthering vertical integration of the U.S. food supply chain. We need look no further than what happened in Ireland to recognize the threat of a USDA-driven EID mandate,” Hageman said. “In early 2022 Ireland adopted an EID mandate, and by August 2023, their government was reporting that they needed to slaughter as many as 41,000 head of livestock – not because of a disease outbreak, but because of so called “climate change.”  A mandatory EID simply gives the federal government too much power.”

“Mandating ear tags for all cattle and bison will financially crush independent Wyoming ranchers,” said Barrasso. “Senator Lummis’ and Congresswoman Hageman’s legislation will stop this overreaching federal mandate in its tracks.”

The Congressional Review Act resolution opposes the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s final rule which requires ranchers to fit all livestock over the age of 18 months with electronic identification ear tags if they are shipped across state lines, only offering exemptions for animals going directly to slaughter. The mandate will go into effect 180 days after the final publication on November 5th, giving ranchers in Wyoming little time to adjust to the new and costly requirements. It is estimated that roughly 11 million cattle nationwide will be impacted by the rule once it goes into effect.

Rep. Harriet Hageman has introduced companion legislation in the House.