Animal ID: Where Are We?
Dr. Gavin Meerdink, Beef and Feed Safety Extension Veterinarian,
University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine
Industry representatives met last week to discuss the first phase
of NAIS, premises identification. NAIS, or National Animal Identification
System, is the implementation phase of the U.S. Animal Identification
Plan. Although there are no firm deadlines, a priority is to have
a premises ID system in place by August of this year. Although
allocated by USDA, each state has the responsibility for the premise
identification system. A premise definition is complicated by
the variety of livestock production systems and will likely undergo
refinement during the sign-up process.
Currently, plans are being developed for cattle, bison, swine,
sheep, goats, equine, cervids, and camelids (llamas and alpacas).
Systems include individual ID as well as group or lot ID. Initially,
NAIS will be voluntary. Once identification is a required component
of animal production, anyone will be able to access the information
under the Freedom of Information Act. Also, the initial emphasis
will be focused on animals that enter commerce, i.e., undergo
a change of ownership. Eventually, animal ID primarily will be
the responsibility of the “premise of birth” animal owner.
At this point, NAIS is not fully developed and there are no requirements
for animal owners. The primary information source for the most
recent developments can be found on the interactive Web site,