USDA officials have selected Wisconsin's livestock premises identification system as a trial for the national livestock identification system.

Announced July 9, agency officials said that the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium's system will be available as the interim premises registration system for states that choose to use it. It would apply to all types of livestock.

USDA officials told Robert Fourdraine, WLIC's chief operating officer, that they "valued the efforts of the group; their diligent work has already proven to be a tremendous asset to the timely implementation of the National Animal Identification System."

An independent firm, SI International, evaluated and identifyed potential system solutions for USDA. In its recommendation, SI International reported that "the WLIC application should be used as the interim system starting point because it provides the most functionality and complies with the USAIP standards."

"If states would like to work with WLIC, we can provide knowledge and support," Fourdraine said.

"My department is finalizing the premises identification rule. We anticipate it will be ready for public input by fall," said State Agriculture Secretary Rod Nilsestuen. "Meantime, we strongly urge livestock producers to register voluntarily."

"A livestock premises identification system is vitally important to Wisconsin and the entire nation because it lays the foundation for rapid response in the event of an animal-disease outbreak," Governor Doyle said. "It also helps grow our agriculture industry because consumers want to know where their food comes from."

WLIC is a multi-species effort led by Wisconsin's livestock and industry organizations in cooperation with DATCP, USDA, and the University of Wisconsin Extension. Initial funding for the concept was provided by a state Agricultural Development and Diversification grant.

Source: USDA, Capital Times, Wisconsin Ag Connection