From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 4, Number 33 - November 11, 2004
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Animal identification system planned

by Bill Boender

The National Livestock Identification System subcommittee of the Wyoming Livestock Board met in Pinedale Tuesday, Nov. 9, for a status report and to work on a program for Wyoming that will fit the federal requirements.

The committee consists of 17 members including representatives from the Wyoming Livestock Board, the University of Wyoming, the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, the Wyoming Farm Bureau, the Wyoming Wool Growers Association, the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, the Wyoming State Lands Department, the U. .S Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

A publication from the U.S. Department of Agriculture lists the reasons for implementing a national animal identification system as;

1. Enhance foreign animal disease surveillance, control and eradication.

2. Facilitate epidemiologic investigations.

3. Improve biosecurity protection of the national livestock population.

4. Distinguish animals vaccinated or tested under USDA disease control from unvaccinated and untested animals.

5. Furnish official identification for animals in interstate or international commerce.

6. Accurately identify blood and tissue specimens used for laboratory diagnostics.

7. Track the health certification status of herds, states and regions.

8. Enable effective regionalization and risk assessment in support of international trade.

The states of Wisconsin and Nebraska currently have federally approved systems in place for animal identification. There is no established time table for implementing the program in other states, but work is under way across the country on individual state plans that may vary in scope but will all fit the basic needs of the national program.

This committee is working on a plan to identify locations, operations or premises that will be identified by a seven character number issued by the USDA. Individual animals would be identified by a 15-character number or a 13-character group number. One of the issues is how best to mark each animal with different systems seen as appropriate for different species. Cattle, sheep and horses will be the initial species covered, followed by swine and goats. Other species have a lower priority under this program.

More information on the NAIS program can be accessed at

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