NPPC Applauds USDA Action On National Animal Identification System

by 5m Editor
29 April 2004, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON - NPPC Vice President Joy Philippi today applauded Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman's announcement to move forward on a national animal identification system.

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"Last December, the Department said it would accelerate the process of instituting a national animal identification system and this action shows the Department recognized the need to move forward," said Philippi, a pork producer from Bruning, Neb. "We commend Secretary Veneman for this action. An identification system is needed to maintain and strengthen the health and biosecurity of the U.S. livestock herd by providing timely and effective tracing in case of a disease event."

According to Philippi, chair of NPPC's Animal Health and Food Security Committee, it's a priority to be prepared to respond and recover from a potential foreign animal disease outbreak in the U.S. "Pork producers believe the most important step in the implementation of a national animal identification system is establishing a national animal premises identification system, a key underpinning of the U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP)," she said. The pork industry considers a premises identification system a crucial part of protecting the nation's critical food and agriculture infrastructure. We believe that most Americans now understand the importance of animal health in protecting food security and safety in this country."

Philippi said with yesterday's announcement that USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will spearhead the development and implementation of the national animal identification system. "Pork producers have a high degree of confidence in USDA Undersecretary Bill Hawks' and his APHIS leadership team's and their ability to develop a system that will be affordable, accurate and sustainable. "We look forward to moving forward on full implementation of the USAIP that the pork industry has worked on for the last two and a half years," she said. "The $18.8 million obtained by USDA for implementing the animal identification system is a good start, however, NPPC is currently working with other livestock groups in Washington to seek $73 million from Congress in the FY'2005 agriculture appropriations bill."

Source: National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) - 28th April 2004

5m Editor