AMI Recommends Transition to Mandatory Animal ID Program

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

US - A mandatory animal identification program for all livestock species should be immediately implemented, says the American Meat Institute in comments submitted to the three government agencies involved in this debate. The comments, sent to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS), are in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR), regarding animal identification.

Responding to a question regarding the circumstances under which an identification program should transition from voluntary to mandatory, AMI suggested that a mandatory identification system be established and implemented as soon as possible because industry and government needs require such a system.

"The cases of BSE found in Canada and Washington State, as well as concerns regarding biosecurity and other animal diseases, provide sufficient reasons for APHIS to implement expeditiously a mandatory animal identification and traceback system (AITS)." AMI contends that USDA's conclusion that a voluntary system be implemented should be reconsidered.

In separate, but related comments to APHIS and FSIS regarding federal measures to mitigate BSE risks, AMI encouraged FSIS to defer to Office International des Epizooties (OIE) standards when examining an exporting country's regulatory requirements.

AMI stated that "Significant to the equivalency discussion is the agency's recognition that an exporting country's regulatory requirements need not be identical to those of the United States."

AMI also stated, however, that when making such a determination of equivalency, "FSIS should conduct its own evaluation to determine whether a country is meeting the appropriate standards."

To view the comments in their entirety, click here. on the links below.

Source: American Meat Institute (AMI) - 14th September 2004

5m Editor