The announcement last week by the USDA eliminating the National Animal Identification System does not change the objective pursued by the National Pork Board, which is for pork producers to have timely disease surveillance and protection for the U.S. swine herd.

"Premises identification is the cornerstone of animal health and disease surveillance," said Paul Sundberg, vice president of science and technology at the NPB. "The announcement by USDA does not change NPB’s reliance on a voluntary premises identification program as an integral part of swine health initiatives."

“The pork industry is committed to working collaboratively with USDA and state animal health officials to provide a sound system,” Sundberg continued. “Pork producers have demonstrated their confidence in premises identification through their participation and it is important that we maintain this voluntary cooperation."

“Despite the USDA’s elimination of NAIS, the support of premises identification by pork producers remains vitally important to the pork industry,” says Sundberg. According to USDA data, the U.S. swine industry already has more than 90 percent of its farms identified through premises identification.

NPB also stresses the importance of coordination and consistency of animal identification information at the state level, as recommended by USDA. “We are hopeful that the coordination and consistency of this information is maintained by the states,” adds Sundberg. “NPB will work closely with state pork producer associations and state animal health authorities to help maintain the progress we have already made in these areas.”

NPB had supported the NAIS and incorporated elements of the program as a requirement in the industry's Pork Quality Assurance Plus program.  NPB will work closely with USDA and state animal health officials in maintaining our progress toward improved swine disease surveillance.

Read Questions and Answers on animal traceability.

Source: NPB