September 8, 2006
September 8, 2006 - The sheep identification working group, chaired by Cindy Wolf, DVM, submitted its recommendations to the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) subcommittee last week. Wolf was later notified by the subcommittee that the report had been approved. It will now be forwarded to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Disease which is meeting Sept. 12-13.
"I want to acknowledge the team spirit with which the members of the sheep working group accomplished the monumental task of creating the NAIS recommendations for sheep," commented Wolf. "From the beginning, our group included broad representation in an effort to incorporate the views and perspectives of all segments of the industry. Through the process, the sheep working group has gained extensive knowledge in the animal identification arena and has functioned as a sounding board for industry concerns."
The U.S. sheep industry has already accomplished many of the NAIS principles through the identification component of the mandatory National Scrapie Eradication Program (NSEP). The report also stated that the voluntary NAIS program should not be allowed to jeopardize the continuing progress of the mandatory scrapie program.
The working group concluded in its report that moving the U.S. sheep industry toward the 48-hour traceability goal would best be accomplished through the continued use of the NSEP identification system with the inclusion of a group/lot identification system.
In summary, the group listed the following recommendations:
- use of the existing NSEP ID system as the starting point;
- recognition of the need for an electronic method of identification but recommended implementing such a system only when there is one that is proven efficient for sheep and cost effective; and
- support of multi-environmental research to resolve problems involved with an electronic tracking system.
The report, in its entirety, is located on the American Sheep Industry Association Web site at: www.sheepusa.org.
Staff contact: Paul Rodgers, 303-771-3500