If you are like me, a homesteader growing a few animals for personal use - eggs, meat birds, pigs, turkeys and a horse - you might not have given any thought to the Omnibus Spending Spree, er, Bill and if it might affect your right to own animals. Surprise! It will. Read on.
The bill includes $129,180,000 for Animal Health Monitoring and surveillance, including $14,500,000, an increase of $4,713,000, for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Given this investment, coupled with the almost $128,000,000 that Congress has already provided for NAIS, APHIS is expected to make demonstrable progress with effectively implementing the animal identification system. Accordingly, APHIS is directed to meet the following species traceability objectives that are derived from the agency's final 2008 animal disease traceability business plan:
--Cattle: By March 1,2009, identify 30 percent of the nation's cattle population to premises of origin within 48 hours of a disease event.
--Goats: By October 1,2009, identify 90 percent of goat breeding herds to their birth premises within 48 hours of a disease event.
--Poultry: By July 1,2009, achieve 98 percent traceability in the commercial poultry industry through the identification of commercial production units in the required radius within 48 hours of a disease event.
--Sheep: By October 1, 2009, identify 90 percent of sheep breeding flock to their birth premises within 48 hours of a disease event.
--Swine: By February 1, 2009, achieve 80 percent traceability in the commercial swine industries through the identification of commercial production units in the required radius within 48 hours of a disease event.
In addition, APHIS is directed to meet the following program administration milestones that are similarly derived from the final 2008 animal disease traceability business plan:
--By February 1, 2009: Publish proposed rulemaking to consider establishing the seven-character PIN as the national location identifier standard and establish the "840" Animal Identification Number as the Single version for the numbering system.
--By February 1, 2009: Incorporate the NAIS-compliant premises identification number format into existing Federal disease program activities.
--By May 1, 2009: Publish proposed rulemaking to consider using a premises identification number, in the NAIS-compliant format, for import/export facilities, the destination of imported livestock and the Location of exported animals prior to the assembly.
There is concern that APHIS removed a key outcome milestone from its final animal disease traceability business plan that assessed the agency's progress on integrating tracking databases maintained by States and private organizations. APHIS is directed to submit a report to the Committees that explains why the agency dropped this important milestone from its final business plan. APHIS is further directed to
provide an update on its current progress with fully integrating the Animal Trace Processing System with non-Federal tracking databases.
APHIS is directed to submit a report to the Committees within one week after each of the milestone dates outlining the status of each species traceability objective and program administration milestone and the reason the deadline was not met.
Find your Senator here and call his/her office. Ask for the Ag Policy Advisor and have a converstation with that person. Make nice, but be firm.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Act now, today, right this minute.
Buy my book and send it to the Ag Policy Advisor that you are going to get to know today. What better way to educate someone about NAIS. Click through the link on the right side bar.