Saturday, February 19, 2011


Posted by: "Suzanne Gasparotto" onioncreek1
Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:57 am (PST)

*Animal ID Update: USDA plans to propose new rules*
A year ago, USDA announced that it was dropping its plans for the
National Animal Identification System (NAIS), and that it would instead
develop a new framework for tracking animals that move across state
lines. At the same time, the USDA also announced that it would form a
new "Secretary's Advisory Committee on Animal Health."
FARFA joined with a coalition of organizations to nominate a slate of
producers to the Committee. When the Committee was finally named late
last year, three of the coalition's nominees were selected: Judith
McGeary of FARFA, Gilles Stockton of the Western Organization of
Resource Councils, and Genell Pridgen of Carolina Farm Stewardship
Association. Judith McGeary was named Vice-Chair of the Committee, and
Dr. Don Hoenig (the State Vet of Maine) is the Chair.
The Committee, made up of a total of 20 people, met for the first time
on January 20-21, 2011. *At that meeting, the USDA officials stated that
a proposed rule has already been written and is going through the
administrative process prior to publication, which is expected to occur
in April. *Since the proposed rule is already written, changes at this
stage are not likely, but USDA asked that the
Committee identify any "show stoppers" with the framework.
The role of the Committee members is to represent "constituencies" of
people and organizations who are affected by USDA's animal health
programs. Below is a list of key concerns about the new framework that
we developed in cooperation with other organizations and submitted to
the full Committee for discussion.
The next public meeting of the Committee will be on March 4, by
conference call. It is open to the public, and information on how to
participate is posted on the Committee's website at:
The Committee website also includes all of the documents presented to
the Committee, and will have a transcript of the first meeting when
available. The core documents explaining the new proposed framework for
Animal ID are also posted on FARFA's website:
1. Summary of proposed requirements
2. Powerpoint report
<> to
the Committee
3. Tag
*After the proposed rule is published, there will be a public comment
period. We will alert you to how you can access the proposed rule and
make comments as soon as that information in available. Please be ready
to speak up!
The USDA's decision to withdraw the NAIS plan shows that the grassroots
can be successful. We will need each of you to be involved to ensure
that any new regulations do not create unfair burdens for the hundreds
of thousands of small farmers, ranchers, and other animal owners across
the country.

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