August 2, 2007

Three NAIS pieces in today's news

The most important one I should think.

GAO Finds Problems in Animal ID Implementation
From Prairie Farmer

The Government Accountability Office released a report Thursday identifying weaknesses in USDA's plan to implement a national animal identification system.

The report identified the following problems that could undermine USDA's ability to use the system to trace an outbreak to its source, as reported in a release from Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, ahead of the official GAO release on its Web site:

  • Tracing animals from their original origin will be problematic given that USDA is not requiring critical information, such as the type of animal species, date of birth, or approximate age of animals to be recorded in the animal ID system.
  • USDA has not prioritized the implementation of the animal ID system according to economic value of the species or those most at risk for specific animal diseases.
  • USDA has not developed a plan to integrate the animal ID system with preexisting animal disease eradication programs for hogs, cattle, sheep or goats, thus duplicating effort and cost to producers.
  • USDA has awarded 169 animal ID cooperative agreements totaling $35 million but has failed to adequately monitor the agreements or determine if the intended outcomes, for which the funds were used, were achieved. USDA has also not consistently shared the results of the agreements with state departments of agriculture, industry groups, or other stakeholders to allow them to learn from experience under the cooperative agreements.
  • The timeframe for effective animal disease traceback from where animals have been raised is not clearly defined for specific species.
  • USDA has no benchmarks to determine if there is sufficient participation to achieve an effective animal ID system.
It is about time that someone in Congress took a look at what USDA is doing. We can only hope that something good will come of the dismantling of USDA or NAIS at the very least.

Next is from Dairy Herd Management.

IDAIRY receives grant to further premises registration efforts
By Dairy Herd news source (Thursday, August 02, 2007)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced that the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) will receive a grant of up to $1 million intended to register dairy premises under the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). NMPF will use the money to work with its IDairy coalition partners to further the registration effort.

Since IDairy was established in 2005, over 30,000 dairy producers have registered their premises under the NAIS, but as many as 35,000 commercial dairy operations are not yet registered. IDairy’s goal is to have 100 percent of the operations registered in order to enable animal health officials to quickly respond to an animal health emergency.

“This agreement is another important step forward as we advance the National Animal Identification System," said Bruce Knight, under secretary for USDA's marketing and regulatory programs. "It builds on agreements previously announced with the National Pork Board, the National FFA Organization and the U.S. Animal Identification Organization to promote animal health by providing producers with the information they need to take the important step of registering their premises and protecting their animals."

Read the rest of it here.

Another million dollars? Where do they get their money? It is just simply unbelievable.

And finally from Colorado.

Members of County Fair Board Say CSU Plan Is Unfair

The county commissioners don’t like the mandate requiring Colorado’s 4-H and FFA youth to obtain premises identification in order to show their animals at county and state fairs.

During their regular meeting on Tuesday, July 31, Suzie Coleman, Rhoda Reid and Jack Canterbury of the local fair board asked the commissioners to consider signing a resolution opposing mandatory premises ID for 4-H and FFA youth.

In short, premises ID registration lists the name and address of the ranch where the animal is being raised, and the ranch owner.

Beginning in October, cooperative extension officials with Colorado State University will require all Colorado 4-H and FFA youth to have a premises identification.

Premises identification is the first step toward a national animal identification system being considered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for livestock, in order to trace and track the livestock to protect against disease.

So far, premises identification registration is voluntary for state ranchers, however, CSU officials have decided to make it compulsory for 4-H and FFA participants.

“If it’s voluntary for ranchers, it should be voluntary for our youth,” said Canterbury.

Read the rest of it here.

All I have to say about that is remember Hitler's Youth Brigade.

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