A large contingent of sheep producer leaders met today, via teleconference, with John Clifford, DVM, deputy administrator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's (APHIS) Veterinary Services, to discuss the components of the new animal disease traceability framework.
"From the description provided by APHIS, it appears the identification component currently being used in the scrapie eradication program will accomplish a great deal of what is intended in this traceability effort," commented Jim Logan, DVM, chair of the American Sheep Industry Association's Animal Health Committee.
The Traceability Regulation Working Group compiled performance standards by which the states and tribes will measure success within this program. The approach-focused on animals moving interstate-builds upon basic animal identification methods, while providing states and tribal nations the flexibility to implement processes that meet the needs of their local industries.
The sheep industry offered formal comments regarding group/lot identification for multiple animals moving as a unit through the slaughter channels. APHIS confirmed that group/lot identification will be one of the acceptable means of identification in the new traceability framework.
Logan concluded, "The sheep industry looks forward to reviewing the proposed regulation that will be posted."