Officials at the National Pork Board say Secretary Vilsack's announcement that he is eliminating the National Animal identification System does not change the objective pursued by the Pork Board, which is for pork producers to have timely disease surveillance and protection for the U.S. swine herd.
Also, it does not change the Checkoff's reliance on a voluntary premises identification program as an integral part of swine health initiatives. Dr. Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology at the National Pork Board, says premises identification is the cornerstone of animal health and disease surveillance.
According to USDA data, the U.S. swine industry already has more than 90% of its farms identified through premises identification. The Checkoff's swine health committee, and the Committee's Animal ID Working Group, had supported the NAIS and incorporated elements of the program as a requirement in the industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program.