USDA will give 26 state and 3 tribal projects total of $11.64 million to conduct studies and advance the U.S. animal identification initiative. USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will distribute the funds.

States and tribes can use the funds to register premises through a standardized system provided by APHIS or through other systems that comply with NAIS data standards. Besides registering premises and establishing necessary data transfer procedures, many states and tribes will also conduct field trials or research to test and fine-tune identification technologies and collect animal movement data.

State and tribal plans include collecting intra- and interstate animal movement records electronically; integrating data collection technologies at livestock marketing facilities and processing plants; tracking livestock imported from other countries; and electronically collecting animal movement data as livestock are loaded on and off trucks and trailers at their ship-from and ship-to locations. 

APHIS received more than 40 applications for the animal ID funding. Selections were based on specific criteria, including: broad participation of stakeholders; inclusion of multiple species for either premises or animal identification projects; involvement of multiple states and/or tribes; clearly defined objectives, including target dates for accomplishing certain activities; a feasible communications plan; a well-defined budget; and the implementation of a premises identification system that met national data standards. 

Applications that reflected significant cost sharing, including third-party in-kind contributions, also received priority. Including the cost sharing of state and tribal governments and industry, the total investment in these NAIS cooperative agreements is more than $16 million. 

Applicants that didn’t receive funding in this round, there’s another chance with next year’s budget that calls for $33 million for the NAIS. A portion of the funds would be used to fund additional cooperative agreements. USDA will work with those states and tribes that are still interested in implementing a premises identification system to help them meet necessary criteria.

The animal identification initiative is a continuing USDA priority. Currently, USDA is holding a series of listening sessions across the country to discuss with producers the development, structure and implementation of the NAIS.   Six sessions have been held so far, and nine more are scheduled. 

USDA’s ultimate goal for the NAIS is to gain the ability to identify all animals and premises that have had direct contact with a foreign animal disease or disease of concern within 48 hours of discovery. 

States and tribes receiving funding are:  California, Florida, Fort Belknap Indian Community, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Osage Nation, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Tri-National Livestock, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming.

For more information, go to: http://www.usda.gov/Newsroom/0325.04.html

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