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Pinedale Online > News > March 2006 > National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

Animal ID System. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Animal ID System
National Animal Identification System (NAIS)
By 2008, federal ID tracking program will be required for horses, cattle, sheep, bison, swine, goats, poultry, more
March 7, 2006

In an effort to secure the agricultural resources and products, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is implementing an intensive program to identify and monitor livestock producers, locations and animal movements. The program is called the National Animal Identification System (NAIS).

The concept behind NAIS is to promote the quick recognition, containment and eradication of animal disease outbreaks that have recently threatened our country’s food supply and plagued many agricultural economies. “The NAIS database will advance efforts in protecting against the threat of bio-terrorism and any emerging domestic animal disease concerns” states the Wyoming Livestock Board website.

The government wants to attain a 48-hour trace back objective by recording the movement of individual animals and herds and organizing that information into an efficient federal database. The reason for the close tracing capability within the 48 hour timeframe is to "preserve the domestic and international marketability of our nation’s animal and animal products."

Under the program, "producers" (animal owners) and "non-producers" (markets, stock shows, fairs, and other marketing intermediaries) must register their "premises" (location, name of entity, contact person and more identifying information).

Individual stock animals will be identified with a device that features an identification number or an electronically encoded numbered chip. The NAIS currently is developing plans for aquaculture, camelids (llamas and alpaca), cattle/bison, cervids (deer and elk), equine, goats, poultry, sheep and swine to all be closely monitored and tracked.

The premises identification system will retain information on the animals or group/lot unit of animals’ date of birth or origins and movement between different locations. This information will continue to be reported throughout the animal’s entire lifespan with the use of the premises identification number.

Wyoming is only recording the premises and animal identification of bison, cattle, goats, fish, poultry, sheep, swine and horses. Wyoming will be utilizing Radio Frequency Identification Tags in their animal identification pilot programs. Eventually, DNA, retinal identification and other biometric identification methods will possibly replace or supplement the RFID tagging method.

Information will be collected on individual animals and groups of animals, date of birth, premise of origin, removal date and type (sale, transfers, loss and death), destination premises and inventory reconciliation.

Individual states, tribes and territories will be responsible for collecting, verifying and maintaining all the information uploaded into the National Premises Repository. Each entity will retain these records for 20 years.

NAIS began in July 2005 on a voluntary basis. By April 2007, there will be premise registration and animal identification "alerts". In January 2008, premise registration and animal identification will be required. By January 2009, reporting of defined animal movements will be required and the entire program will be mandatory.

Anyone who raises animals that never leave the premises will not be required to participate in the program. However, if you own a horse, and take it off your property for a trail ride, it must be registered into the program.

For questions regarding premises identification call (307) 777-7515.

Related Links:
Wyoming Livestock Board Premise Identification Program
USDA National Animal Identification Program
What's next, people? Do a Google search on National Identification System.

Pinedale Online > News > March 2006 > National Animal Identification System (NAIS)

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