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USDA Awards $11 Million for a National Animal Identification System

by 5m Editor
6 August 2004, at 12:00am

US - Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced the selection of 29 state and tribal projects to receive a total of $11.64 million to advance the national animal identification initiative.

"This first phase of funding to states and tribes takes us closer to our goal of implementing a national animal identification system (NAIS) for all U.S. livestock and poultry animals," said Veneman. "These projects represent strong collaboration among state and tribal animal health officials, academia, producers and producer organizations."

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will distribute the funds through 29 cooperative agreements. States and tribes can use the funds to register premises through a standardized system provided by APHIS or through other systems that comply with NAIS data standards. Besides registering premises and establishing necessary data transfer procedures, many states and tribes will also conduct field trials or research in order to test and fine-tune ID technologies and collect animal movement data.

State and tribal plans include collecting intra- and interstate animal movement records electronically; integrating data collection technologies at livestock marketing facilities and processing plants; tracking livestock imported from other countries; and electronically collecting animal movement data as livestock are loaded on and off trucks and trailers at their ship-from and ship-to locations.

APHIS received more than 40 applications for animal identification cooperative agreement funding. Selections were based on specific criteria, including: broad participation of stakeholders; inclusion of multiple species for either premises or animal identification projects; involvement of multiple states and/or tribes; clearly defined objectives, including target dates for accomplishing certain activities; a feasible communications plan; a well-defined budget; and the implementation of a premises identification system that met national data standards. Applications that reflected significant cost-sharing, including third-party in-kind contributions, also received priority. Including the cost-sharing of state and tribal governments and industry, the total investment in these NAIS cooperative agreements is more than $16 million.

For those applicants that did not receive funding in this round, the President's fiscal year 2005 budget calls for $33 million for the NAIS. A portion of the funds would be used to fund additional cooperative agreements. USDA will work with those states and tribes that are still interested in implementing a premises identification system to help them meet necessary criteria.

The animal identification initiative is a continuing USDA priority. Currently, USDA is holding a series of listening sessions across the country to discuss with producers the development, structure and implementation of the NAIS. Six sessions have been held so far, and nine more are scheduled, with the next one scheduled to take place on August 10 in Greeley, Colo.

The Department's ultimate goal for the NAIS is to gain the ability to identify all animals and premises that have had direct contact with a foreign animal disease or disease of concern within 48 hours of discovery. A functioning system will also be crucial as USDA works to complete disease eradication programs in which states, industry, and the federal government have invested many years and millions of dollars. USDA is committed to developing a program that is tested both on the farm and in the livestock markets to ensure it is both practical and effective. The Department's technology-neutral position will allow industry to determine which animal identification method or methods are the most practical and effective for each species.

To read the full list, please click here.

Source: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - 2nd August 2004

5m Editor