May 28, 2004
May 28, 2004 -- According to the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) received a boost from the ID INFO/EXPO 2004 conference held last week in Chicago.
The three-day event involved approximately 500 industry and government stakeholders interested in the development of a national identification system for animal agriculture.
Key presenters from the conference included USDA Under Secretary Bill Hawks, newly appointed USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Deputy Administrator for Veterinary Services Dr. John Clifford, and Dr. Bret Marsh, state veterinarian for the Indiana Board of Animal Health. Also included in last week's presentations were a series of highly anticipated reports from species and issues working groups. These groups have been gathering information from their industries to provide input for standards in the system. Working groups making presentations included beef, dairy, bison, equine, sheep, goat and swine as well as the markets/processors issues sector.
Although the framework and standards are designed for many species, some issues remain unresolved. Confidentiality of data and the need for additional funding were among the topics discussed.
USDA said it will implement a premises identification system beginning this summer, with other phases of a national system to follow. The agency also indicated it will rely on industry to help shape the development of the remaining components of a national system.
The Sheep Working Group presentation is available via www.sheepusa.org
on the World Wide Web.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, (304) 647-9981