Hawks Provides NAIS Update
April 15, 2005
According to the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Undersecretary Bill Hawks reassured the industry that mandatory participation in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) would not be put in place until all confidentiality issues have been resolved, though the administration is shooting for January 2009.
Regarding the concerns of confidentiality raised by some in the industry, the Bush Administration has sent a bill to Congress that would exempt the data collected for NAIS from the Freedom of Information Act. Hawks, in his remarks to the members of the Animal Identification and Information Systems Committee of the NIAA, urged the industry to actively support this legislation.
He also told meeting attendees that the required reports on NAIS progress had been sent to Congress earlier that week, so he expected more than $33 million of operating funds for the current fiscal year to be released soon.
Neil Hammerschmidt, NAIS coordinator for the USDA, reported that 45 states have voluntary premises identification programs with more than 50,000 premises across the country now registered.
"The sheep working group recently presented their proposed program standards for the voluntary sheep ID program. Details will be available in the May issue of the Sheep Industry News and on the www.sheepusa.org Web site," stated Judy Malone, director of industry information for the American Sheep Industry Association.