September 26, 2008
September 26, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) this week released the official version of its Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability. The plan provides benchmarks to guide the National Animal Identification (NAIS) System's progress towards the long-term goal of 48-hour traceback of affected or exposed animals in the event of an animal disease outbreak.
"Rapid and effective animal disease containment is necessary to protect U.S. animal health and marketability," said Bruce Knight, under secretary for marketing and regulatory programs. "Traceability, or the access to accurate identification information, locations and movement points for suspect and exposed animals, is the key to determine the source and extent of a disease outbreak. The Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability will assist us as we work to provide a greater level of protection for our nation's animal agricultural community."
The business plan provides USDA, its partners and the public with realistic approaches and goals that have the support needed to successfully increase the level of animal traceability for disease response and control capabilities in the United States. It also takes a comprehensive look at the country's current traceability status, including a breakdown by species and details seven strategies that will provide the greatest amount of traceability progress where it is needed the most. These strategies involve state and federally regulated and voluntary animal health programs--one of the plan's priorities is to integrate NAIS standards in existing disease programs to makes the most out of current disease control activities.
Strategies also provide opportunities for producers to use the same identification methods for industry-administered animal management and marketing programs. Such approaches ensure producers cost effective livestock identification solutions to achieve their management and business objectives. Likewise, the 840 identification tags used in NAIS enables producers to easily provide information on origin of their livestock to packers. In turn, packers can rely on this information for their origin claims on products, in accordance with country of origin labeling (COOL).
The business plan, along with other NAIS information, is available at www.usda.gov/nais