Feelings mixed on US farm registration and identification program

OHIO - The Ohio Department of Agriculture held a meeting with local farmers Wednesday to discuss a plan for farm registration and animal identification that was met with mixed reactions.
calendar icon 15 January 2007
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The state supported federal program, initiated by the USDA, is called the National Animal Identification System. This system is currently voluntary but meeting coordinator Gary Wilson of the ODA said discussions are taking place to make it mandatory by 2009.

The purpose of the system, according to information on the NAIS Web site, is to have a more efficient tracking system for contagious animal diseases that spread through livestock and are potential health risks for consumers.

Currently, Wilson said it takes about six to eight weeks to trace the origin of Mad Cow disease, but the new system would cut that time by 50 percent. Wilson discussed several animal diseases such as Mad Cow, brucellosis, and Foot and Mouth Disease which cannot be transferred to humans but has a traumatic impact on livestock.

“It’s a very devastating disease and it travels very quickly,” Wilson said of FMD.

The other concern which influenced the initiation of the registration and identification system were the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Wilson said risk increased for terrorist contamination of livestock.

Source: Marietta Times

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