U.S. pork producers have raised the bar yet again on animal traceability and identification. According to the National Pork Board, nearly 95 percent of pork producers have registered their premises and obtained a nationally standardized farm identification number, typically referred to as a premises identification number.
 
While the U.S. pork industry relies on foreign markets for an ever-increasing portion of pork demand, animal identification and traceability is seen as a critical issue in protecting the export market. “Having the traceability infrastructure in place at the state and national level is crucial for maintaining and expanding export markets and offers us an invaluable tool to use in the event of a foreign animal disease,” says Patrick Webb, DVM, National Pork Board director of swine health. “It offers us a layer of protection that would not be possible without it."
 
According to Webb, "this demonstrates the clear understanding by U.S. pork producers of the importance of implementing the Swine ID Plan, so the industry has a standardized animal identification and pre-harvest traceability system for animal health that is consistent across all states. The USDA discontinued its National Animal Identification System in February 2010. Compliance for animal identification now rests with individual states and tribes.

Even as USDA transitions to the new animal disease traceability framework, Webb says for pork producers it’s business as usual concerning the implementation of the Swine ID Plan across the industry. “The plan fits within the new framework. Producers in all 50 states and Tribal Nations can still request a premises identification number.”

For additional insight, see frequently asked questions page on pork.org.