Last week USDA issued a proposed rule that would make changes to the National Animal Identification System. It included adding a requirement that official animal identification tags used for disease programs provide a premises identification number or PIN.

NAIS’s main goal is to provide the ability to trace back animals to their farm of origin within 48 hours in case of an animal disease, points out National Pork Producers Council officials.
NPPC supports a mandatory NAIS and has requested that packers require PINs as a condition of animal sale. The organization plans to urge the Obama administration to make NAIS mandatory for all relevant species.

NPPC officials point out that they and the National Pork Board have been working for more than three years to register swine premises. Through 2008, about 54,000, or 80 percent, of the estimated 67,300 U.S. hog farms had been registered. The two organizations in 2005 formed a Swine Identification Implementation Task Force made up of producers and other industry stakeholders to enhance the existing swine ID system, which was set up in 1988 and used to successfully eradicate pseudorabies from the commercial U.S. swine herd.

Meanwhile, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has proposed to amend the domestic livestock regulations to require that when animal identification numbers are used, only those numbers beginning with the 840 prefix will be recognized as official.

The policy would take effect one year or more after the date on which the proposed rule is finalized. APHIS also proposes to require that all new PINs that are issued on or after the effective date of this rule use the seven-character alphanumeric code format. This primarily applies to eartags.

Official eartags that use a premises-based numbering system issued after a one-year phase-in period will be required to use the seven-character alphanumeric code format as well. The agency also proposes several changes pertaining to the use of the U.S. shield on official eartags, numbering systems that use such eartags, and the correlation of those numbering systems with the PIN.

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