USDA to create national ID system for livestock, poultry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service is developing a national identification system to increase the agency’s control over livestock and poultry diseases.
“One of the goals is to have an effective traceback system in the event of an animal disease outbreak and the ability to do so within 48 hours,” said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman at the Future Trends in Animal Agriculture committee meeting in Washington, Sept. 17. “This is vital not only for disease control and eradication but also for uninterrupted agricultural trade.”
USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service is considering ways to provide information to producers to reduce the introduction of pathogen in the food supply. “We are looking at research and other information that will allow us to properly advise producers on pre-harvest practices that improve the safety of our food supply,” Veneman said.
The USDA is concerned about the outbreak of contagious animal diseases, such as food and mouth, avian influenza, and exotic newcastle disease.
Livestock production in the United States is expected to reach $101 billion in 2003, the second-largest production year on record. There are about 96 million cattle in the nation’s herd.
The United States also has about 60 million hogs and billions of chickens and turkeys.