States Animal Identification Plan -
"Protecting American Animal Agriculture"
FOR COMMENTS: January 31, 2004 (VERY IMPORTANT that you
COMMENT! And strongly encourage others to do so!)
NOTE: "These standards will apply to all animals ...
regardless of their intended use as seedstock, commercial, pets
or other personal uses."
It's past time to wake up and fight the control juggernaut --
how well publicized has this 'program' been? How many people
understand that this applies to 'pets
or other personal uses'?
How about reference to the 'national
herd'? Does that
not sound like the government owns the livestock/animals? This
is not Soviet Russia, but the resemblance grows greater with
each passing day! The Control Trap is springing shut --
and you'd be strongly advised to share this with everyone you
know that has a cat or dog, or fish, bird, or pleasure horse,
and so on -- because the days of carefree travel with any
animals will soon be over, unless a nationwide OUTCRY is
heard, and heard loudly and SOON! The implementation is due in
July 2004 -- BEFORE the elections, so the damage will have
been done BEFORE you can vote the implementers out of office.
Write Letters to the Editor! Speak to everyone you can! Tell
your local Rotary Club or any other club/group you belong to!
Do Something and Do It NOW!)
Period Extended for Input on US Animal ID Plan See
More http://usaip.info/newsrelease12-04-03.htm (This
is below, immediately following the 'executive summary' text.)
American animal agriculture by safeguarding animal
health is vital to the wellbeing of
all U. S. citizens. It promotes human health;
provides wholesome, reliable, and secure food
resources; mitigates national economic threats; and
enhances a sustainable environment.
Essential to achieving this goal is an efficient and
effective animal identification program.
Building upon previously established and successful
animal health and animal identification
programs involving many animal industries, an
industry-state-federal partnership, aided by the
Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA),
was formed in 2002 to more uniformly
coordinate a national animal identification plan.
This resulting plan, requested by the United
States Animal Health Association (USAHA)
and facilitated by USDA's Animal
and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS),
was formulated in 2003 for presentation at the
annual meeting of the USAHA. More than 100 animal
industry and state-federal government
professionals representing more than 70 allied
associations/organizations collectively assessed
and suggested workable improvements to the plan to
meet future U. S. animal identification
Fundamental to controlling any disease threat,
foreign or domestic, to the nation's animal
resources is to have a system that can identify
individual animals or groups, the premises where
they are located, and the date of entry to that
premises. Further, in order to achieve optimal
success in controlling or eradicating an animal
health threat, the ability to retrieve that
information within 48 hours of confirmation of a
disease outbreak and to implement intervention
strategies is necessary. The USAIP is focused on
utilizing state-of-the-art national and
international standards with the best available and
practical technologies. It is dynamic and
flexible, and will incorporate new and proven
technologies as they become available. States
needs in implementing animal identification will
receive priority within the uniformity provided by
The USAIP currently supports the following species
and/or industries: bison, beef cattle, dairy
cattle, swine, sheep, goats, camelids (alpacas and
llamas), horses, cervids (deer and elk),
poultry (eight species including game birds), and
aquaculture (eleven species). Implementation
will be in three phases:
I involves premises identification;
II involves individual or group/lot identification
for interstate and intrastate commerce;
Phase III involves retrofitting remaining processing
plants and markets and other industry segments with
appropriate technology that will enhance our ability
to track animals throughout the livestock marketing
chain to protect and improve the health of the
implementation will focus on the cattle, swine, and
small ruminant industries.
transition, the USAIP recommends that:
all states have a premises identification system in
place by July 2004;
individual or group/lot numbers be available for
issuance by February, 2005;
all cattle, swine, and small ruminants possess
individual or group/lot identification for
interstate movement by July, 2005;
all animals of the remaining species/industries
identified above be in similar
compliance by July, 2006.
These standards will apply to all animals within the
represented industries regardless of their intended
use as seedstock, commercial, pets or other
It is well acknowledged that costs associated with
the USAIP will be substantial and that a
public/private funding plan is justified.
Significant state and federal costs will be incurred
overseeing, maintaining, updating, and improving
necessary infrastructure. Continued efforts
will be required to seek federal and state financial
support for this integral component of
safeguarding animal health in protecting American
for Current Work Plan Draft (74 pages - pdf)
TO SEND COMMENTS, GO
Period Extended for Input
on US Animal ID Plan
December 4, 2003
National Animal Identification Development Team has
extended, through January 31, 2004, the opportunity
for all interested individuals or groups within the
animal agriculture industry and government to
provide needed input to the on-going development of
the U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP). The
USAIP defines the standards and framework for
implementing a phased-in national animal
identification system that will greatly enhance the
traceback capability of animal health officials.
Currently, USAIP Species Working Groups are being
formed to provide needed detail to the Plan
including, but not limited to, infrastructure needs,
preferred identification devices, and suggestions as
to how current identification systems may be
integrated into the Plan. Recognizing there are many
details that need to be addressed within the various
species, it is essential the Working Groups hear
from industry stakeholders in order to best
incorporate the suggestions and observations
Unlike legislation recently passed requiring country
of origin labeling at the retail level on packages
of certain fruits, nuts and meats, the USAIP focuses
on enhancing the nation's capability to accurately
and effectively locate and trace individual animals
and/or groups of animals within 48 hours should an
animal health emergency arise. A copy of the Plan
may be downloaded at http://www.usaip.info or a hard
copy is available by calling 301-734-5571.
Comments, suggestions and questions on the USAIP may
be submitted via the web at http://www.USAIP.info;
faxed to 719-538-8847; or mailed to USAIP Comments,
660 Southpointe Court, Suite 314, Colorado Springs,
(The National Animal Identification Development Team
comprises a diverse group of livestock industry
participants including producers, producers
organizations, breed associations, marketers, and
processors as well as State and Federal animal
health officials committed to the goal of developing
a standardized national identification system to
assist in rapid animal traceback regarding an animal
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Scott Stuart, USAIP Communication Subcommittee
Co-Chair, 719-538-8843, or email at Communication@USAIP.info
Here is the FAQ page:
is the U. S. Animal Identification Plan?
is this program needed?
this plan part of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)?
48-hour traceback capability?
are the benefits for producers in adopting the U.S. Animal
much will the program cost?
will pay for the plan?
do I get a premises ID?
forms of identification will be used?
do I get an official ID tag or device?
producers need to have a radio frequency identification (RFID)
will pay for RFID readers and their installation in markets
and slaughter plants? Who will pay for the electronic
I am currently using an ID program through a private service
or marketing alliance, will my ID be usable in the USAIP?
I, or my State Cattle Association, consider options for
aligning ourselves with a database management provider so I
can be sure I comply with the USAIP?
will be responsible for ID application in livestock?
is a tagging station and where will such stations be located?
data will be required to be kept, by whom and in what form?
will have access to information in the National Animal ID
species are included in the program?
this be a mandatory program?
I be able to sell my livestock if they are not officially
animals be identified as a group?
are the penalties for not using the program?
are the liability issues of this program for producers?
is the timeline for implementing this program?
has developed this plan?
is on the Team?
government entities will have oversight of this plan?
will be the ID requirements for animals entering the United
States from other countries?
the phase-out of existing official animal identification
devices by July 2005, what will happen with Brucellosis
vaccination tags? Will they still be used?
will happen with the national Scrapie eradication program's ID
can interested stakeholders go to obtain more information
about this plan?
there still time to have input into the plan?
What is the U. S. Animal Identification Plan?
U.S. Animal Identification Plan (USAIP) defines the standards
and framework for implementing and maintaining a phased-in national
animal identification system for the United States.
Why is this program needed?
Is this plan part of Country of Origin Labeling (COOL)?
the USAIP is not intended to be a part of Country of Origin
Labeling. The plans sole intent is to create the ability
to track animal disease to its source within a 48-hour period.
Why 48-hour traceback capability?
protect the health of the U.S. herd, sound scientific
principles indicate that being able to track and contain a
disease event within 48 hours is essential. For the industry
to maintain consumer confidence and protect its economic
viability, the industry will need to demonstrate its ability
to meet this standard
What are the benefits for producers in adopting the U.S.
Animal Identification Plan?
adoption of a national identification system will help secure
the health of the national herd. The program will
provide producers and animal health officials with the
infrastructure to improve efforts in current disease
eradication and control, protect against foreign animal
disease outbreaks and provide infrastructure to address
threats from deliberate introduction of disease.
industry may integrate the standards and technologies defined
in the USAIP with their management systems and performance
recording programs. The utilization of the same ID
technologies for both regulatory and industry programs allows
for the development of a more cost effective and user-friendly
system for the producer. Producers can also benefit from
additional animal identification information obtained to
improve production efficiencies and add value to their
products. However, the information systems are completely
separate; production data will not be transmitted to nor
maintained in the national identification databases.
How much will the program cost?
The plan for
the program is currently being developed. Initial
start-up costs will be different than the costs of a fully
operational system in all 50 states.
Who will pay for the plan?
is anticipated that the federal government and all industry
stakeholders will share in the costs of an identification
Where do I get a premises ID?
administration and maintenance of premises ID lies with each
states department of Agriculture. State
departments will use a national mechanism to obtain a unique
national premises ID, and will record additional
information such as type of premises, contact name, address,
and phone number to contact the person in charge of a
premises. Key pieces of information will be sent to the
national premises database that can be used in the case of a
What forms of identification will be used?
form of animal identification used is intended to optimize
accuracy, promote efficient information transfer, and be
practical and effective in its application for individual
species and/or industries. Species groups will have the choice
of designing a system that may or may not use accompanying
visible ID. For example, the cattle industry plans to
use radio frequency identification (RFID) technology using an
eartag attachment. Other species are exploring methods
suitable for their industries, although effective official
identification methods as described in the 9 CFR will be
maintained for certain species. Electronic identification may
be necessary for efficient and accurate data collection and
animal tracking in some species or in particular animal
movement scenarios. Official identification tags will
not replace management ear tags unless the species groups
establish those options. Ultimately it is anticipated that
technological advances will allow for one tag or ID device
that performs multiple functions. Implants (i.e.,
microchips) may be permitted for certain species in which
no other form of ID is suitable and assuming that the implant
site has been approved by the FDA and FSIS relative to ease of
discovery at slaughter when appropriate.
Where do I get an official ID tag or device?
the distribution mechanism for ID devices is being discussed.
It has not been decided where and how a producer can obtain
official ID devices at this time. Different species will have
different requirements in regards to the type of device that
can be used, however standards in regards to RFID technology
and code structure, and retention will ensure that various ID
devices can be read with RFID readers that meet the same RFID
Will producers need to have a Radio Frequency IDentification
frequency (RF) technology is the form of electronic
identification that is currently being considered.
Producers that have livestock that utilize RFID for
official identification will not necessarily need to have a
RFID reader. For example, the producer will be
able to record the RFID code of the electronic device before
it is applied to an animal and cross-reference the code with a
visual-tag number. This will allow them to maintain a
record of the RFID code without having the read (scan) the
transponder. For cattle, the plan calls for the
utilization of a RFID eartag attachment on which the RFID code
is to be printed for visual readability. While reading
and recording the RFID code manually is not ideal, it can be
array of readers will be available on the market; ones that
merely read and display the RFID code to ones that are
attached to an advanced handheld computer. Palm type
devices encased together with a built in reader are becoming
Who will pay for RFID readers and their installation in
markets and slaughter plants? Who will pay for the electronic
plan is being developed as an industry-government
partnership, so it is expected that industry and the
government will share the cost of the necessary elements.
Exactly how those costs will be shared is currently under
discussion within the various Species Working Groups.
If I am currently using an ID program through a private
service or marketing alliance, will my ID be usable in the
assuming the program you are using will be compliant with the
official USAIP standards.
Should I, or my State Cattle Association, consider options for
aligning ourselves with a database management provider so I
can be sure I comply with the USAIP?
Committee would characterize such action as premature. There
is definitely no urgency as no immediate implementation
requirements have been established. The Steering
Committee, and in the future, the USAIP Oversight Board, will
clearly communicate dates that will call for action or
producer-participation. The program will be phased in
over time, and an adequate transition period will be
established for producers to work into the system.
USDA is taking necessary steps to have the standards
established as official;
the U.S. Animal Identification Number is an example.
The standards established in the USAIP are to be recognized as
official so industry initiatives that are developing programs
containing an ID component may start to incorporate them if
they so desire. Additionally, this will allow the
standards to be used in various pilot projects that are being
formulated. Also, please note that the timetables
outlined in the USAIP are target dates, which will be updated through
consensus of the Species Working Groups.
Who will be responsible for ID application in livestock?
phase-in period, animals will need to be identified as they
leave whatever premises they are on regardless of where they
were born. After the first few years of the program,
identifying animals will be the responsibility of the
premises of birth producers. For producers who
lack equipment for individual identification, tagging stations
will be available.
What is a tagging station and where will such stations be
tagging station is an entity operating from a fixed location
that has been officially approved by USDA/APHIS to apply ID
devices to animals that are being moved into commerce. The
USAIP work plan recognizes that not all producers will have
facilities to individually tag animals before they leave the
farm. Therefore, producers who are required to individually
tag animals that leave the farm can elect to truck animals to
an approved tagging station and pay the operator of the
tagging station a fee to apply individual animal ID
devices and report the ID information to the central
database. Such tagging stations may include, but not
be limited to an existing livestock marketing facility, a
veterinary clinic, a fairgrounds or a facility specifically
dedicated to performing tagging services.
What data will be required to be kept, by whom and in what
part of the plan is under development.
It is anticipated that the final plan will be user-friendly
such that it will be easy for all stakeholders to implement
and make part of their daily practice. Ideally animal
movements will be electronically tracked and sent from the
stakeholders to the central database. For the plan
to be successful, this key part, i.e. data entry, will need to
be easy to follow, thus achievable in real-time such that data
entry becomes a routine management practice.
essential information will be reported to the central
the case of individual animals, this is:
US AIN (US Animal Identification Number),
the premises ID that the US AIN was seen at or allocated to,
3) the date it was seen or allocated.
information that can be important in a disease
trace-back such as species, breed, sex, age or date of birth can
also be reported if available. In the case of group or lot
movements, the key data are the groups Lot ID number, the
premises ID the Lot ID number was seen at, and the date it was
seen. If species is available, this can also be provided to
the central database.
goal of the work plan is to work with existing information
systems so additional recording of information by producers
and auction markets is minimized.
Who will have access to information in the National Animal ID
state and federal health officials will have access to the
premises and animal ID information when performing their
duties to maintain the health of the national herd.
Proper safeguards are being researched and will be put in
place to ensure that the data is protected from public
What species are included in the program?
the species include beef, dairy, swine, and sheep.
It is anticipated that equine, aquaculture, poultry, goats,
camelids, cervids and any other species deemed necessary to
protect animal agriculture will be included in the future.
Will this be a mandatory program?
are geared toward developing a national animal identification
program that will provide for the ability to rapidly track
animals exposed to a disease concern, and will meet the needs
of producers, animal industries, domestic and international
markets and consumers. The plan still needs to be completed
and the system needs to be tested to be sure it is effective
and workable. Incremental implementation of the plan as
development continues will allow for potential problems within
the system to be identified and the plan modified to address
those problems. Ultimately there needs to be full
compliance for the system to work as effectively as it
should. Once the USAIP has been finalized, considered
workable and accepted by industry, it is likely that industry
and market forces will drive the process towards full
compliance. At that time, USDA will work with
industry and state partners to achieve full participation with
Will I be able to sell my livestock if they are not officially
as the plan will begin as a voluntary program. Over
time some markets may require animals to be identified that
are not identified now. Species where ID is
currently required will continue to have to be identified
prior to entering commerce, i.e. sheep and goats under the
national Scrapie eradication program.
the program is phased in, all animals of covered species will
be encouraged to have premises identification, and eventually
prior to sale. For producers who lack facilities to apply
identification devices at the premises of birth, there will be
provisions for initiating the process at the point of sale.
Can animals be identified as a group?
an animal production system can use Group/Lot identification
if the producer is able to demonstrate to the satisfaction of
state animal health officials that, through group
identification and production records, traceback to all
premises with direct contacts of a suspect animal can occur in
48 hours. Each group will be identified with a unique
and standardized number. Verifiable records will be
required to further document premises ID and dates of
What are the penalties for not using the program?
this point, the USAIP is not fully developed and producers are
not yet required to comply with any rules. When the
plan is finished, the market forces may drive the process
What are the liability issues of this program for producers?
are, and have always been responsible for the livestock they
produce. If practices are employed that would endanger
consumers at any level the producer responsible for creating
that threat could have increased liability. Merely
having the animals Identified through the USAIP will neither
increase nor decrease that liability.
traceability can help protect producers who apply best
management practices. The system can help limit liability and
narrow the scope of eradication efforts in the case of a
disease emergency by being able to document that appropriate
and responsible measures were followed.
What is the timeline for implementing this program?
steps need to be completed before the USAIP could be fully
implemented, however the USAIP recommends that:
cattle, swine, and small ruminants possess individual or
group/lot identification for interstate movement by July 2005;
standards will apply to all animals in
within the represented industries regardless of their
intended use as seedstock, commercial, pets or other
Who has developed this plan?
National Animal Identification Development Team has developed
It is a group of approximately 100 animal and livestock
industry professionals representing over 70 associations,
organizations, and government agencies. Development has
been a voluntary effort by all participants working
collaboratively to establish an effective national animal
Who is on the Team?
on the team include producers, animal and livestock
association and organizational representatives, and State and
Federal governmental animal production and health
professionals. Represented industries include beef,
dairy, swine, sheep, goats, and cervids. Other
species groups are welcome and encouraged to participate.
What government entities will have oversight of this plan?
keeping with the aim of the program to safeguard the health of
the U.S livestock population through disease surveillance and
monitoring, that includes trace back to individual animals
within 48 hours, it is envisioned that USDA-APHIS will
administer the program. Further, the plan calls
for governance as a joint federal-state responsibility
with industry input. To ensure uniformity of operations
across the U.S., APHIS and individual state animal health
entities will develop and administer key regulatory
elements of the plan.
What will be the ID requirements for animals entering the
United States from other countries?
entering the country will be subject to the same
identification requirements as animals
in the U.S. that move interstate and/or through commerce.
Currently, various species working groups are defining
species-specific identification requirements.
the phase-out of existing official animal identification
devices by July 2005, what will happen with Brucellosis
vaccination tags? Will they still be used?
The USAIP does not yet
specify how it will affect the animal identification protocols
currently associated with the Brucellosis eradication program.
It is likely that Brucellosis vaccination tags will be phased
out gradually as individual
vaccination records are included in the database linked to
31. What will
happen with the national Scrapie eradication program's ID
uniformity and consistency being key objectives of the USAIP,
the U.S. Animal Identification Number (USAIN) will become the
official number for use in the Scrapie eradication program. It
is likely that animals currently Identified through other
official plans/programs will be "grandfathered" into
the program, meaning producers will phase in the USAIN on
animals Identified for the first time after a mutually
Where can interested stakeholders go to obtain more
information about this plan?
primary source of up-to-the-minute information is http://www.usaip.info
- an interactive, user-friendly website that provides details
on the development of the plan as well as specific information
directed at the segments of the livestock industry involved in
the identification effort. Also, fact sheets, brochures,
and other forms of media will be developed to target those
needing information on the USAIP.
Is there still time to have input into the plan?
U.S. Animal Identification Development Team is seeking
comments from all interested individuals. The comment
period runs until January 31, 2004. You can send
the USAIP web site: http://www.usaip.info
faxing 719-538-8847 or
by mailing to USAIP Comments: 660 Southpointe Court, Suite
314, Colorado Springs, CO 80906.
working groups are being formed to provide input to the USAIP.
Final reports are to be submitted to the National Animal
Identification Development Team Steering Committee by April 1,
2004. To find out who represents your species on a
species-specific working group, contact Neil Hammerschmidt at Neil.E.Hammerschmidt@aphis.usda.gov
or look on the http://www.usaip.info