by Peter Shinn, Brownfield Network
USDA has decided to allow livestock producers who have already registered their premises as part of the still-developing national animal identification system to de-list their operations.
Andrea McNally is a spokesperson for USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. She told Brownfield since national animal ID is strictly voluntary, producers should be allowed to decide to stop participating at their discretion."
You know, the national animal ID system is a voluntary program," McNally said," and, you know, we intend to put a process into place that would allow people to opt-out if they choose to do so, and we're working on that process right now."
At least one state, Idaho, has added existing breed registration databases to their premises registration database. In the process, Idaho officials have involuntarily registered some livestock premises. But McNally said that's not what's driving USDA's decision to let livestock producers de-register their premises."
No, no," McNally insisted. " It's just that, you know, it's an understanding that if you have a voluntary program that these are the sorts of processes you have to have in place should people choose to no longer be a part of it."
But are other states besides Idaho registering livestock premises without the knowledge of livestock producers? Nebraska Ag Director Greg Ibach told Brownfield he wants to assure producers that's not happening in Nebraska. "We as a state aren't manually working some of our present databases into the system in any way, shape or form," he said.
Calls to the state animal ID coordinators for South Dakota and Iowa revealed both those states are also only registering premises through the direct action of livestock producers themselves. As far as progress in actually registering livestock premises, Nebraska remains a regional and national leader, with nearly half registered. Just over 25% of Iowa's livestock premises and a bit more of 21% of South Dakota's livestock premises are registered as of now.
Audio related to this story - Peter Shinn, Brownfield Network reports http://www.brownfieldnetwork.com/resource/20070202/7e0b3d22-fd06-c618-adccdcf98956a307/103852/Peter%2520Shinn%2520reports%2520on%2520premises%2520registration.mp3
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