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News search engines and headline aggregators are welcome to index/link this page - Date posted: 2/2005
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USDA Launches National Animal ID Site
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Discovery Health Channel's Asthma and Allergy Center
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The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is a national program intended to identify specific animals in the United States and record their movement over their lifespans. It is being developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State agencies—in cooperation with industry—to enable 48-hour traceback of the movements of any diseased or exposed animal. This will help to ensure rapid disease containment and maximum protection of America's animals.
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service  has launched a new Web site to inform stakeholders about the national animal identification system (NAIS). The Web site, available at http://www.usda.gov/nais, is designed to be a one-stop resource to facts about NAIS.

“We hope our stakeholders will visit the site frequently to find out the latest news about the NAIS from a national perspective,” said APHIS Administrator W. Ron DeHaven. “It will be updated regularly as new information becomes available.”

In addition to providing national news, the site provides contact information for state and tribal animal health authorities. The states and tribes are responsible for providing each premises under their purview with a nationally unique identification number—the starting point of the NAIS. All states should be able to assign nationally unique premises identification numbers to locations where animals are managed or held by mid-2005.

Over time, APHIS plans to add to the new Web site resources targeted to specific species and industry-segment groups. Currently, NAIS working groups comprised of industry and government representatives have been established for cattle and bison, sheep, swine, poultry, horses, llamas and alpacas, deer and elk, and livestock markets and processors.

In implementing the NAIS, USDA’s goal is to provide animal health officials the ability to identify all animals and premises that have had contact with a foreign or domestic animal disease of concern within 48 hours after discovery. As an information system that provides for rapid tracing of infected and exposed animals during an outbreak situation, the NAIS will help limit the scope of such outbreaks and ensure that they are contained and eradicated as quickly as possible.

With the recent passage of the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, APHIS will receive approximately $33 million for NAIS implementation. USDA also transferred $18.8 million from its Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS during fiscal year 2004 to support the NAIS.

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