U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials and animal agriculture representatives set priorities and discussed new strategies for animal identification and traceability at the National Institute for Animal Agriculture's annual meeting. USDA announced in February that it was going to discontinue the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in favor of a new state-based system.
Representatives from the beef, dairy, horse, sheep and pork industries expressed concerns and suggested priorities as a replacement for the defunct NAIS.
Input from the meeting will be key to reshaping and defining USDA's role in developing new national animal identification efforts. John Clifford, DVM, USDA's chief veterinary officer, said follow-up meetings will be conducted that will help redefine the U.S. animal identification and traceability system.
According to industry representatives, priorities for a new state-led animal identification system include the development of uniform identification standards that apply across all states, ability for the system to move at the 'speed of commerce', as well as the availability of USDA funding for the effort. Minimizing producer costs and confidentiality also are important, according to some.
Reprinted in part from porkmag.com