Legislation to establish a national, mandatory animal-identification program was introduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday. The National Farm Animal Identification and Records Act authorizes a one-time appropriation of $175 million toward the creation of a mandatory, national animal ID program with a 48-hour trace-back and provides financial assistance to producers to comply with the system. All livestock, including hogs, beef and dairy cattle, and sheep, will be included.

Reps. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Mike Ross (D-Ark.), James Walsh (R-N.Y.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) and several others introduced the bill. Included in the legislation, is an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act, which has been an ongoing issue for pork producers concerned about privacy issues.

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) introduced another national animal identification bill that would implement the U.S. Animal Identification Plan. The bill sets priority timelines for enrolling beef and dairy cattle in the USAIP; provides financial assistance to producers to assist in complying; addresses issues of confidentiality and authorizes $50 million for FY 2004.

National Pork Producers Council