April 6, 2012
During last week's National Institute for Animal Agriculture's annual conference in Denver, Neil Hammerschmidt, program manager of animal identification at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's Veterinary Services, provided an update on the agency's Framework for Animal Disease Traceability.
USDA currently is reviewing thousands of public comments, and probably will not issue the final rule until later this year, so Hammerschmidt was unable to address some specific details. He did, however, outline some of the program standards and options.
Acknowledging that cost of compliance has been a source of contention with previous plans, Hammerschmidt says the current framework intends to minimize producer costs and reporting requirements.
A primary goal of the program is to streamline the process of tracing animals to their point of origin. Premises identification numbers (PIN) have been available to producers, on a voluntary basis in most cases, for several years. Some form of location identifier will presumably become mandatory with the final rule.
Reprinted in part from Drovers CattleNetwork