The American Association of Swine Veterinarians says a rapid response to an animal health emergency requires that officials be able to identify the animals and track their movements. To address these challenges, the USDA has developed the National Animal Identification System.

Veterinarians serve a key role in NAIS by encouraging their clients to participate and in the implementation of the program. The AASV has joined the National Pork Board  and the USDA to educate swine veterinarians about the importance of the NAIS and the veterinarian's role in the system.

NAIS is comprised of three main components: premises registration, animal identification and animal movement tracing. USDA is currently concentrating on the first phase, premises registration. The effectiveness of the system relies on knowing where livestock are raised and housed as well as the location of other vital resources such as veterinary clinics and processing facilities.

Pork producers strongly support NAIS and have developed the Swine ID Plan as the swine-specific identification program that conforms to the NAIS guidelines. Over 75% of swine premises are currently registered.

To learn more about premises registration in your state, contact your state animal health official or visit the USDA's NAIS web site. Funding from the NPB will help AASV promote the animal identification effort in 2009 and educate members about the veterinarian's responsibilities in the program.

AASV urges pork producers to register your premises as the right thing to do.

Source: AASV