Q1: Where can I source animals to use in my USDA PVP or QSA Program?
A: Animals can be sourced from the following:
- An approved USDA PVP. Approved sources are maintained on the official listing for the USDA PVP. Be sure that the companies you are sourcing animals from have claims that are equivalent or greater to your claims.
- An approved USDA QSA Program. Approved sources are maintained on the official listing for the USDA QSA Program. Be sure that the companies you are sourcing animals from have claims that are equivalent or greater to your claims.
- Suppliers of an approved USDA PVP or QSA Program. Approved suppliers are maintained by the company on the company's approved suppliers list.
Q2: Do I need to verify eligibility of animals received from sources when including them in my approved USDA PVP or QSA Program?
A: Yes. Only animals that can be verified as conforming to the specified product requirements and program requirements may be accepted into an approved USDA PVP or QSA Program. When receiving animals from an approved USDA PVP or QSA Program location , the company must:
- Read a sampling of identification numbers;
- Verify the eligibility of the animal through the method determined by the company that "enrolled" the animal; and
- Maintain a record showing conformance to the Program, including date of birth information. (Clause 4.2 The company must maintain records to provide evidence of conformity to the receiving process and of the effective operation of the receiving process; and 4.3 The company must maintain records of all products as identified and records of all changes of identities.).
Note: When animals with a PCT or other form of identification have been maintained at a non-USDA approved PVP or QSA Program location and are received into an approved USDA PVP or QSA Program location, every animals identification must be verified prior to acceptance into the USDA approved PVP or QSA Program.
The method of verification determined by the client may be one or more of numerous methods including (but not limited to):
a. A website that contains a claim specific information associated with an animals’ identification;
b. An official company certificate that contains claim specific information associated with an animals’ identification ;
c. An official company letter or certificate that contains claim specific information associated with an animals’ identification ;
d. Direct contact with a company representative who will provide the claim specific information associated with an animals’ identification ; or
e. Use of a data service providers' service which will allow the user to retrieve claims specific information associated with an animals’ identification .
Contact the company for their specific method for determining verification.
Q3: Can conforming and non-conforming animals be shipped on the same truck?
A: Yes. However, there must be controls to ensure the segregation of the non-conforming animals to prevent their unintended use or delivery. There must be records to show evidence of these controls. For example: cattle are segregated on the truck in the individual compartments and the shipping documentation clearly identifies the number and location of the conforming and non-conforming cattle on that truck.
Q4: Can transfer stations be incorporated into USDA PVP or QSA Programs live animal activities?
A: Yes; however, the transfer stations and associated activities that occur at the location(s) must be incorporated into the approved PVP or QSA Program. Additionally, producers must include documented procedures describing how animal identification, segregation, and other applicable claims (health, feeding, etc.) are controlled at these locations.
Q5: What type of identification is required?
A: The type of ID is dependent upon the program. Suppliers approved under an "umbrella" program must use the type of ID required by the program. Some programs allow suppliers to use their own type of ID while others specify the type of ID that must be used.
Q6: Can hot brands or freeze brands be used as a form of identification?
A:Yes. Brands may be used as a form of group identification at the farm or ranch. Animals must be shipped directly to a supplier of an approved PVP or QSA Program where a secondary form of identification (i.e. ear tag) must be applied upon arrival.
Q7: Is ear notching an acceptable form of identification?
A: Ear notching alone is not an acceptable form of identification; however, when used in conjunction with another form of identification (branding, tattooing, ear tags, etc.) ear notching is an acceptable form of secondary identification.
Q8: What is necessary to qualify cattle for age verification?
A: Cattle must be traceable to legitimate production records. Cattle must meet the requirements of age verification as outlined in the QSA/PVP Live Animal Production Records Requirements.