Western state veterinarians this week characterized the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) plan to downsize and re-design its National Animal Identification System (NAIS) as a return to its original intent.
The USDA earlier this month announced it was dropping the NAIS in favor of a newly proposed Animal Disease Traceability Framework. The change scaled back the system, shifting its emphasis from a comprehensive inventory of the nation's livestock herd to tracking livestock movement across state lines. It also shifted much of the responsibility for developing and implementing the system from the federal government to states.
State officials now are looking to USDA for funding to help implement the new program. USDA officials estimate the frameworks cost at well below the $228 million per year it previously projected for NAIS.
Western state veterinarians said they will meet with cattlemen from their respective states in the coming months to develop their traceability systems. They also plan to meet with fellow state veterinarians to ensure the systems are compatible.
Reprinted in part from Capital Press