While USDA officials travel around the countryside to conduct listening sessions related to its National Animal Identification System, the funding portion of that program is hitting a snag.
The House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee on Thursday, voted to eliminate in the fiscal 2010 agriculture funding bill money for NAIS. The National Pork Producer Council reports that Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), the subcommittee chairperson, has been critical of USDA, which has been trying to implement an animal ID program since 2004.
Only about one-third of animal premises in the country have been registered. NPPC, which supports a mandatory NAIS for all relevant species, and the National Pork Board have registered more than 80 percent of U.S. swine premises. The NAIS would allow animal health officials to trace back an animal to its farm of origin within 48 hours. The appropriations bill is scheduled to be considered by the full U.S. House Agriculture Committee next week.
In other funding news, NPPC reports that next week, a Senate-House conference committee is expected to approve a supplemental agricultural appropriations bill for fiscal 2009 that includes $100 million for animal disease surveillance. NPPC sent a letter on June 1 to the Democrat and Republican leaders of the Senate and House appropriations committees. They are the conference panel members that are reconciling differences in the supplemental legislation. NPPC urged inclusion of funds to improve the nation’s system for monitoring and tracking animal diseases. There has been heightened attention on animal disease surveillance in the wake of the Type A H1N1 flu outbreak.