The National Pork Producers Council Wednesday applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's efforts to clarify a number of issues related to and make several improvements to the National Animal Identification System.
USDA on Tuesday issued a proposed rule that would make changes to the NAIS, including adding a requirement that official animal identification tags used for disease programs include a premises identification number (PIN). The main goal of the NAIS is the ability to trace back animals to their farm of origin within 48 hours in case of an animal disease.
NPPC supports a mandatory NAIS and has requested that packers require PINs as a condition of sale. The organization will urge the incoming Obama administration to make the NAIS mandatory for all relevant species.
"The NAIS, with premises registration, will help us trace back to a specific location so that there can be a quick, appropriate response to an animal health emergency to help protect our herds, our operations and our export markets," said NPPC President Bryan Black, a pork producer from Canal Winchester, Ohio. "NPPC commends USDA for its efforts to improve and implement this important program."
NPPC and the National Pork Board have been working for more than three years to register swine premises. Through 2008, about 54,000, or 80 percent, of the estimated 67,300 hog farms had been registered. The two organizations in 2005 formed a Swine Identification Implementation Task Force made up of producers and other industry stakeholders to enhance the existing swine ID system, which was set up in 1988 and used successfully to eradicate pseudorabies from the commercial herd.