Agriculture selects system in first step to animal registry

The Agriculture Department's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has selected a registration system that will record where animals reside as a first step in developing a national animal identification system.

'Before animals can be tracked during a disease outbreak, we need to know where the animals are located,' said APHIS Administrator W. Ron DeHaven.

The Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium, a state industry initiative, implemented the system that Agriculture has adopted, the agency said last week.

Agriculture is enhancing the Wisconsin system for use in multiple states and will provide it to a limited number of states in early August. It will be phased in to ensure that any problems are addressed before it is available nationally.

The Wisconsin group developed its premises registration system with QC Data Inc. of Calgary, Canada, which created and hosts a similar system for the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, and Clarkston Consulting of Raleigh, N.C.

Other states and organizations may also develop premises registration systems as long as they meet Agriculture data standards.

The department will have evaluated other premises registration systems by early August to ensure compliance with the national data standards.

Agriculture is committed to designing a comprehensive animal identification system that will trace all animals and premises potentially exposed to a foreign animal disease within 48 hours. This will ensure that the disease is quickly contained and eradicated.

A total of $11.64 million will be awarded in the next few months to begin implementation of an identification system for all livestock and poultry on farms and ranches.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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