The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday announced that it was extending the deadline for public comments on its proposed rule for mandatory animal traceability, following a request by forty-nine organizations for a deadline extension.

The organizations had sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack requesting an extension to allow sufficient time for the people who will be affected to analyze the rule and submit comments.

“We have significant concerns about the substance of the rule, and we appreciate the USDA providing more time for public comment,” stated Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance and vice-chair of the USDA Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Animal Health. “Our farmers are already struggling with the poor economy and terrible weather conditions in many parts of the country, and they needed additional time to be provide comment to the agency about the impact this proposed rule will have.”