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IDAIRY Renews Calls for Mandatory Animal ID

13 March 2009

US - Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture must work together to make mandatory animal ID a reality, says IDAIRY.

At a Congressional hearing today, the dairy industry renewed calls for a mandatory National Animal Identification System (NAIS) to serve as a collective insurance policy in the event of an animal disease emergency.

Dairy producer Karen Jordan, DVM, from Siler City, North Carolina, testified that the dairy industry "collectively believe(s) that our industry will be best served when all dairy operations, and ultimately, all dairy cows, are identified in a national central database." Jordan serves as chairperson of NMPF’s Animal Health & Welfare Committee.

Since 2005, IDairy has worked to make NAIS a reality for the dairy industry. Today, nearly 75 percent of dairy producers participate in NAIS by having their premises registered. In many states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Idaho, New York, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah, Nevada, and South Carolina, more than 90 percent of their dairy producers have participated in premises registration. However, until animal ID becomes mandatory, obtaining the last 25 percent participation will be difficult.

While USDA has pursued a voluntary NAIS program for nearly a decade, the dairy industry has been a prominent supporter of mandatory animal ID. In an animal disease emergency, Jordan said, "the system is only as strong as its weakest link. Now is the time for Congress and USDA to work together to make mandatory animal ID a reality."

"If this is to truly be a New Era of Responsibility, we need to be mindful that preparing for a quick and effective response to emergencies lies at the heart of responsible animal health system," concluded Jordan.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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