NAIS Premises Numbers for Sheep Producers
March 11, 2005
March 11, 2005 -- More and more states continue to introduce identification systems in compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA), National Animal Identification System (NAIS). All states are to be operational on a premises registration system by July 2005.
When fully implemented, the NAIS will give animal health officials the ability to trace the movement of any animal determined to be suffering from a communicable disease within 48 hours of the discovery of disease. Compliance with the NAIS is currently voluntary; however, many stakeholders feel the program needs to become mandatory over time to be successful. Additional information on NAIS can be found at: http://www.usda.gov/nais.
Mandatory animal identification is nothing new to the sheep industry. With the implementation of the scrapie eradication program, sheep producers have been required to register their premises and obtain an identification number in order to acquire the eartags needed for interstate movement since 2001.
An industry-wide task force recommended to USDA that the scrapie premises number be integrated into the NAIS to allow for consistent record-keeping within the sheep industry.
Diane Sutton, DVM, the National Scrapie Program coordinator, stated, "Sheep producers should go ahead and register their premises with their state under the NAIS system. However, I would advise them to also indicate their scrapie premises number to assist us in integrating these systems.
"Producers who do not have a scrapie premises identification number (flock ID number) are still required to obtain one. While we are in the transition process, if a producer has a NAIS, number they should provide it when they call to request a scrapie number and/or eartags. In some states, producers will be able to have the NAIS number entered as their scrapie number now. In other states, it will be changed later in the process," concluded Sutton.
Premises identification numbers for the scrapie eradication program can be obtained by calling 1-866-USDA-TAG (1-866-873-2824).
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500