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USDA to Hold Listening Sessions on National Animal Identification Program

by 5m Editor
15 June 2004, at 12:00am

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold a series of listening sessions across the country to discuss the development, structure and implementation of a national animal identification program for all livestock and poultry animals.

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“These sessions will provide public forums to discuss the national animal identification program,“ said Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Bill Hawks. “A national animal identification program will help the government and industry more quickly control outbreaks of a variety of animal diseases and reduce the economic impacts on the market.“

Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman announced in December 2003 that USDA would expedite the implementation of a national animal identification program. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has received more than $18 million to begin implementing a national system that will quickly and efficiently traceback diseased or potentially diseased animals. A premise identification system will be completed this summer, which will allow for the beginning of pilot programs to test identification systems.

The first listening session will be held at Crown Center (formerly known as the Charlie Rose Ag Center), 1960 Coliseum Dr., Hospitality Suite A, in Fayetteville, N.C. on June 14 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For directions, call the Crown Center at (910) 323-5088.

Additional listening sessions will be held in: Athens, Ga. on June 18; Prineville, Ore. on July 1; Stockton, Calif. on July 10; Socorro, N.M. on July 16; Pasco, Wash. on July 23; Greeley, Colo. on Aug. 10; Billings, Mont. on Aug. 13; Kissimmee, Fla. on Aug. 16; Columbus, Ohio on Aug. 18; Ames, Iowa on Aug. 26; Joplin, Mo. on Aug. 27; Appleton, Wis. on Aug. 30; and St. Cloud, Minn. on Aug. 31. More details about each listening session, including the site and time of the meeting, will be posted on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/issues/nais/nais.html.

These sites are in addition to Houston, Texas where USDA participated in a congressional field hearing March 5 and discussed the issue with livestock producers and groups. USDA officials have also attended various meetings around the country to discuss this and other issues with agricultural producers.

Source: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - 10th June 2004

5m Editor