USDA revises animal ID document

The Agriculture Department is making a revised version of the National Animal Identification Program Standards (NAIS) and Technical Reference document available to the public for review and comment.

The revised document reflects the continuing evolution of the NAIS, particularly with regard to identification devices available for official use within the system. It also provides further guidance to NAIS participants and other interested stakeholders.

NAIS is an information system that helps producers and animal health officials respond quickly and effectively to disease outbreaks. The NAIS program is a voluntary partnership between state and federal agencies and industry that consists of three components: premise registration, animal identification and animal tracing systems.

NAIS' Cattle Working Group and the Equine Species Working Group provided performance standards in the earlier document released in February for the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to employ when approving devices for use in the NAIS.

Since then, the Swine Working Group and the Sheep and Goat Working Group have also provided recommendations. The USDA updated the Program Standards and Technical Reference document in October 2007 to include information specific to those species and made some other changes.

Updates to the document include the following:
  • Adjustments to performance standards for identification eartags;
  • Adjustments to printing standards for individual animal identification eartags;
  • Addition of printing standards for slaughter swine premises identification;
  • Adjustment of performance standards for radio frequency identification injectable transponders to allow for the potential use of alternate International Organization for Standardization (ISO) or U.S.-based technology standards.

The revised Program Standards and Technical Reference document is available here. Comments can be submitted to USDA via e-mail or by mail to NAIS Program Staff, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 200, Riverdale, MD 20737.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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