In a statement about the importance of animal identification and premise registration, Agriculture Under Secretary for marketing and regulatory programs Bruce Knight assures producers, “it’s about your livelihood and economic viability”. The comment was addressed to a group of livestock producers, government officials and industry representatives at the 2007 I.D. Info Expo held in Kansas City.

“If you haven’t yet registered your premise, do it. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s not an invasion of your privacy”, according to Knight. “I encourage all producers to make the choice to participate in animal identification” he says.

“The ultimate goal is 48 hour traceability,” he explains, and adds “we are almost there with the pork industry”. Pork producer efforts have been responsible for a surge in registrations in Iowa and North Carolina.

Knight says he believes we are well on our way in putting together a comprehensive traceability system that builds on our existing disease programs. He cited the 415,000 premise registrations that have been made to date and the 1,500 additional registrations being received every week. “This represents about 28% of the 1.4 million total animal production premises in the country”, he adds. “I’m hoping to see those premise registrations continue to grow”.

Knight calls for the continued cooperation of individual producers as well as support from state governments and participation from industry to achieve the traceability needed in the U.S. He stressed the importance for animal identification in maintaining the confidence of the consumer, both domestic and international.