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Pork producers like the USDA’s premises plan
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. pork industry is moving forward with efforts to implement a mandatory swine identification system in advance of the time frame in the national animal ID implementation plan announced recently by the USDA.

The pork industry has had since 1988 an effective ID system, which was used to successfully eradicate pseudorabies. A swine identification implementation task force, consisting of members of the National Pork Producers Council and the National Pork Board, is working to enhance that system to meet the objectives of USDA’s National Animal Identification System (NAIS) - mainly, the ability to trace back animals to their farm of origin within 48 hours in case of an animal disease.

On April 6, USDA Secretary Mike Johanns released the agency’s NAIS implementation plan, which includes timelines and benchmarks. It calls for a metadata base that allows federal, state and local animal health officials to tap species-specific private databases for information to conduct 48-hour trace-backs.

“We are encouraged that USDA supports a species-specific approach to animal ID,” said NPPC President Joy Philippi, a pork producer from Bruning, Neb., “and we will continue to focus on implementing a national swine ID program for the purposes of protecting herd health and as a tool for managing a foreign animal disease outbreak.”

Philippi pointed out that modern U.S pork production practices already enable the industry to conduct 48-hour trace backs. To enhance that ability and to implement the pork-specific plan, the swine ID implementation task force and industry stakeholders are urging all pork producers to register their premises, a task they hope will be completed by December 2007.

“Premises registration will help us trace back to a specific location so a quick, appropriate response to an animal health emergency can help protect our operations,” said Philippi, who added that NPPC will be encouraging producers to register their premises at this year’s World Pork Expo June 8-10 at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

The National Pork Producers Council is one of the nation’s largest livestock commodity organizations. It has producer members in 44 affiliated state associations and provides a unified voice for America’s pork producers on a wide range of industry and public policy issues. NPPC’s website is at

This farm news was published in the April 19, 2006 issue of Farm World.