Hobby Farms Editors
February 18, 2009
What Do YOU Think?
What are your thought about NAIS and the U.S. attempts to track and trace animals and animal disease? Share your thoughts–pro and con. Send them to hobbyfarms@bowtieinc.com. If we get enough feedback, we’ll compile your thoughts and share with our readers. Any requests to remain anonymous will be honored. Thanks!

In late December 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)announced the release of two National Animal Identification System (NAIS) documents:

  • A draft Business Plan to Advance Animal Disease Traceability, available for review and comment, and
  • a revised version of the NAIS User Guide

Draft Business Plan
The draft plan provides a comprehensive look at the country’s current traceability status, including a breakdown by species and seven strategies for traceability.

These strategies involve state and federally regulated and voluntary animal health programs, industry-administered animal management and marketing programs, as well as various animal identification techniques.

Drawing from already existing systems and data reduces the cost, amount of time and effort needed to implement a national animal identification system. 

View the draft plan at the NAIS Web site.

You can offer comments on the plan or NAIS in general:

NAIS User Guide
An official NAIS User Guide, which replaces the November 2006 draft version, was released by the USDA in December.

USDA reports having reviewed and incorporated public comments into the official version, making the document easier for readers to understand and use.

USDA says the user guide:

  • Gives producers information about how the NAIS works,
  • Tells how they can put the system to use and
  • Explains why participation would benefit them and their animals.

The user guide contains information on the NAIS and how to participate in all three aspects of the program: premises registration, animal identification and animal tracing.

Livestock Registration Rates Noted

The USDA in mid-December praised Nebraska for registering more than 50 percent of the state’s more than 30,800 livestock premises.

The national rate for overall livestock premises registration was at 30 percent.

States vary widely on premises registration, according to statisics from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Two examples:

  • Montana’s registration rate is 4.2 percent (835 of the more than 19,700 livestock premises USDA believes are in that state have been registered).
  • Wisconsin’s rate is counted as 115 percent; Wisconsin is one of few states that has its own mandatory registration requirements. It has registered 59,251 livestock premises; more than of the 51,373 USDA has listed for the state.

Texas is believed to have the greatest number of livestock premises–and according to the USDA statistics, has registered less than 16 percent.

Premises registration, the foundation of NAIS, is considered by the USDA to be fundamental to containing animal diseases.

Whether registration of premises and/or individual animals should be manadatory has been the subject of numerous debates.

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