February 27, 2004
Feb. 27, 2004 -- In January, Secretary Ann M. Veneman appointed USDA Chief Information Officer (CIO) Scott Charbo to advise her on how to move forward with a national animal identification program. She also asked General Counsel Nancy Bryson and Dr. Keith J. Collins, chief economist, to work with Charbo to develop these recommendations.
Collins offered testimony to the appropriations committee at a hearing this week where he revealed a set of preliminary principles they believe could guide implementation of a national animal ID system.
The goal is to create an effective, uniform, consistent and efficient national animal identification system by:
- Allowing producers, to the extent possible, the flexibility to use current systems or adopt new ones, but not burden them with multiple identification numbers, systems or requirements.
- Building on the data standards developed in the U.S. Animal Identification Plan set forth by a joint Federal-State-private partnership of more than 70 organizations.
- Remaining technology neutral in order to utilize all existing forms of effective technologies and new forms of technology that may be developed.
- Designing architecture for the system without unduly increasing the role and size of the government.
- Ensuring that the system does not preclude producers from being able to use it to add value by aligning production management with market incentives.
Collins also admitted that as they reviewed this issue, they were struck by a number of difficult policy questions that must still be resolved in order to move ahead with a national program.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 304-647-9981