Friday, August 12, 2011

Animal Disease Traceability

On August 9, 2011, USDA issued a proposed rule to establish general regulations for improving the traceability of U.S. livestock moving interstate when animal disease events take place.

"Through the past two years, I have listened carefully to stakeholders throughout the country about how to reach effective animal disease traceability in a transparent manner without additional burden," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "We are proposing a flexible approach in which states and tribes can develop systems for tracing animals that work best for them and for producers in their jurisdiction. This approach offers great flexibility at the state and local level and addresses gaps in our disease response efforts."

Under the proposed rule, unless specifically exempted, livestock moved interstate would have to be officially identified and accompanied by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documentation, such as owner-shipper statements or brand certificates. The proposed rule encourages the use of low-cost technology and specifies approved forms of official identification for each species, such as metal eartags for cattle. However, recognizing the importance and prevalence of other identifications in certain regions, shipping and receiving states or tribes are permitted to agree upon alternative forms of identification such as brands or tattoos.

"Our proposal strives to meet the diverse needs of the animal agriculture industry and our State and tribal partners, while also helping us all reach our goal of increased animal disease traceability," said chief veterinary officer for the United States, Dr. John Clifford. "We believe reaching our goals on traceability will help save the industry and American taxpayer's money in the long term."

Animal disease traceability, or knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they've been, and when, is very important to make sure there can be a rapid response when animal disease events take place. An efficient and accurate animal disease traceability system helps reduce the number of animals involved in an investigation, reduces the time needed to respond, and decreases the cost to producers and the government.

Beginning August 11, 2011, USDA will be accepting comments on the proposed rule until November 9, 2011. For more info click here.
Proposed Rule on Traceability for Livestock Moving Interstate
Animal Disease Traceability: A Guide to Identifying Poultry for Interstate Movement

Q. Is poultry required to be officially identified as part of the new traceability rule?
A. Poultry moved interstate will be required to be officially identified under the new traceability rule with one of the following devices or methods:
• Identification devices or methods approved for use in the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP),
such as sealed and numbered leg bands
• Group/lot identification with a group/lot identification number
Additionally, other identification devices or methods may be used as agreed upon by animal
health officials of the States or Tribes involved in the interstate movement.
Q. Does poultry moving interstate need to be accompanied by documentation? If so, are there
any exceptions to the requirement?
A. An interstate certificate of veterinary inspection (ICVI) must accompany poultry moving interstate
unless the poultry is moved:
• From a flock participating in the NPIP and accompanied by the documentation required by
that program;
• Directly to a recognized slaughtering establishment;
• From the farm of origin for veterinary medical examination, treatment, or diagnostic purposes
and either returned to the farm of origin without change in ownership or euthanized and disposed
of at the veterinary facility;
• Directly from one State through another State and back to the original State; or
• Between any two States or Tribes with
documentation other than an ICVI, as agreed upon by animal health officials in those two States or
Q. I see that several options for traceability involve
participating in the NPIP. What is the NPIP?
A. The NPIP is a cooperative Industry-State-Federal program through which new diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to improve poultry and poultry products throughout the United States. The NPIP establishes standards for the evaluation of poultry breeding stock and hatchery products with respect to freedom from egg-transmitted and hatchery disseminated diseases.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service assigns each participant an official approval number.
This number, prefaced by the numerical code of the State, may be used on each certificate, invoice,
shipping label, or other document used by the participant in the sale of his or her products.
Participants in the NPIP may buy or receive products from flocks that are neither participants nor
part of an equivalent program for use in breeding flocks or for experimental purposes. Participants
must maintain records of purchases, sales, and any products handled.
Q. Where can I find more information on poultry identification requirements for interstate
A. More information is available at http://www.aphis. or from your State animal health official’s office.
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