May 8, 2009
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will hold a series of listening sessions on the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The meetings will take place in May in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington state.
These meetings are designed to gather not only producer comments and concerns, but also potential or feasible solutions to create a program producers can feel comfortable supporting. The listening sessions will include information about the current program, as well as an opportunity to give public testimony or ask program-related questions. Discussion sessions related to NAIS' cost, impact on small farmers, privacy and confidentiality, liability premises registration, animal identification and animal tracing will allow producers to provide their input on ways to make the program into something they can support.
The public meetings will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time, with registration one hour prior to each meeting. The meetings will be held in the following locations: Thursday, May 14 in Harrisburg, Pa.; Monday, May 18 in Pasco, Wash.; Wednesday, May 20 in Austin, Texas; Thursday, May 21 in Birmingham, Ala.; Friday, May 22 in Louisville, Ky.; Wednesday, May 27 in Storrs, Conn.; and Monday, June 1 in Greeley, Colo.
Stakeholders are encouraged to visit www.usda.gov/nais/feedback.shtml
to submit comments and suggestions on the NAIS. Additional information on the meeting locations is also available here.