Farm registration proposal on hold

VERMONT - Secretary of Agriculture Steve Kerr will abandon, for now, a controversial proposal that would have required all livestock operations -- from the family raising a couple of lambs for the freezer to a large dairy farm -- to register the location of their animals.
calendar icon 16 August 2006
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Speaking Tuesday afternoon at a hearing previously scheduled on the rule, Kerr explained how he learned Friday that federal officials couldn't guarantee the confidentiality of the information that Vermont would collect and contribute to a federal database.

"Since I promised people their information would be kept in confidence, I'm going to honor my promise," Kerr said. "We are going to pull the proposal off the table."

Kerr said the need for registration remained. The goal was to know where animals were located across the state in the event of an outbreak of serious diseases, particularly those with potential to spread to humans such as avian flu and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease.

Source: Burlington Free Press

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