Browsing Posts tagged Animal Traceability

Downsize Government

Memo ~~ USDA knows 18% of the beef consumed in the USA was imported
in 2011 because the nation does not produce enough product to feed
it’s people, yet more costly rulemaking is assessed upon producers
by bureaucrats. This document is vague and impossible to determine
the teeth, however, be assured, the devil is in the details. Once
Hammerschmidt gets this approved and mandatory he will personally
add the teath. There will be no more listening sessions or public
comments — the federales will have their way, regardless of the
majoritie’s oppositon.

Yesterday, USDA submitted it Animal Disease Traceability Rule to the
White House Office of Management and Budget for final review. See
Below.
This is one obstinate agency.

 

AGENCY: USDA-APHIS RIN: 0579-AD24TITLE: Animal Disease Traceability
Neil HammerschmidtSTAGE: Final Rule ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT: No
** RECEIVED DATE: 04/25/2012 LEGAL DEADLINE: None
RIN Data
USDA/APHIS RIN: 0579-AD24 Publication ID: Fall 2011
Title: Animal Disease Traceability

Abstract: This rulemaking would establish a new part
in the Code of Federal Regulations containing minimum
national identification and documentation requirements
for livestock moving interstate. The proposed regulations
specify approved forms of official identification for each
species covered under this rulemaking but would allow such
livestock to be moved interstate with another form of
identification, as agreed upon by animal health officials
in the shipping and receiving States or tribes. The purpose
of the new regulations is to improve our ability to
trace livestock in the event that disease is found.

Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)
Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage
of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage
Major: No Unfunded Mandates: No
CFR Citation: 9 CFR 90
Legal Authority: 7 USC 8305
Legal Deadline: None

Statement of Need: Preventing and controlling animal disease is the
cornerstone of protecting American animal agriculture. While ranchers
and farmers work hard to protect their animals and their livelihoods,
there is never a guarantee that their animals will be spared from
disease. To support their efforts, USDA has enacted regulations to
prevent, control, and eradicate disease, and to increase foreign and
domestic confidence in the safety of animals and animal products.
Traceability helps give that reassurance. Traceability does not prevent
disease, but knowing where diseased and at-risk animals are, where they
have been, and when, is indispensable in emergency response and in
ongoing disease programs. The primary objective of these proposed
regulations is to improve our ability to trace livestock in the event
that disease is found in a manner that continues to ensure the smooth
flow of livestock in interstate commerce.

Summary of the Legal Basis: Under the Animal Health Protection Act (7
U.S.C. 8301 et seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or
restrict the interstate movement of any animal to prevent the
introduction or dissemination of any pest or disease of livestock, and
may carry out operations and measures to detect, control, or eradicate
any pest or disease of livestock. The Secretary may promulgate such
regulations as may be necessary to carry out the Act.

Alternatives: As part of its ongoing efforts to safeguard animal
health, APHIS initiated implementation of the National Animal
Identification System (NAIS) in 2004. More recently, the Agency launched
an effort to assess the level of acceptance of NAIS through meetings
with the Secretary, listening sessions in 14 cities, and public
comments. Although there was some support for NAIS, the vast majority of
participants were highly critical of the program and of USDA's
implementation efforts. The feedback revealed that NAIS has become a
barrier to achieving meaningful animal disease traceability in the
United States in partnership with America's producers. The option we are
proposing pertains strictly to interstate movement and gives States and
tribes the flexibility to identify and implement the traceability
approaches that work best for them.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: A workable and effective animal
traceability system would enhance animal health programs, leading to
more secure market access and other societal gains. Traceability can
reduce the cost of disease outbreaks, minimizing losses to producers and
industries by enabling current and previous locations of potentially
exposed animals to be readily identified. Trade benefits can include
increased competitiveness in global markets generally, and when
outbreaks do occur, the mitigation of export market losses through
regionalization. Markets benefit through more efficient and timely
epidemiological investigation of animal health issues. Other societal
benefits include improved animal welfare during natural disasters. The
main economic effect of the rule is expected to be on the beef and
cattle industry. For other species such as horses and other equine
species, poultry, sheep and goats, swine, and captive cervids, APHIS
would largely maintain and build on the identification requirements of
existing disease program regulations. Costs of an animal traceability
system would include those for tags and interstate certificates of
veterinary inspection (ICVIs) or other movement documentation, for
animals moved interstate. Incremental costs incurred are expected to
vary depending upon a number of factors, including whether an enterprise
does or does not already use eartags to identify individual cattle. For
many operators, costs of official animal identification and ICVIs would
be similar, respectively, to costs associated with current animal
identification practices and the in-shipment documentation currently
required by individual States. To the extent that official animal
identification and ICVIs would simply replace current requirements, the
incremental costs of the rule for private enterprises would be minimal.

Risks: This rulemaking is being undertaken to address the animal health
risks posed by gaps in the existing regulations concerning
identification of livestock being moved interstate. The current lack of
a comprehensive animal traceability program is impairing our ability to
trace animals that may be infected with disease.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM 08/11/2011 76 FR 50082
NPRM Comment Period End 11/09/2011
Final Rule 08/00/2012

Additional Information: Additional information about APHIS and its
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No Government Levels

Affected: State, Tribal
Small Entities Affected: Businesses Federalism: No
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No

Agency Contact: Neil Hammerschmidt
Program Manager, Animal Disease Traceability, VS

Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
4700 River Road, Unit 46,
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231
Phone:301 734-5571
______________________________________________________________________

 

USDA and Corporate Agribusiness Continue to Push Animal ID Scheme

Consumers and Independent Producers Lose if Big Ag Wins on Animal Traceability

Source: The Cornucopia Institute, Mark Kastel – June 21, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected to issue its new proposed rule for mandatory animal traceability very shortly. While USDA already has traceability requirements as part of existing animal disease control programs, the proposed framework goes much further to require animal tagging and tracing even absent any active disease threat. The framework has raised significant concerns among family farm and ranch advocates, who criticize the agency for failing to provide a coherent, factual explanation for the new program’s necessity.

“USDA brags about the success of past programs, but has abandoned the principles that made them successful,” argued Bill Bullard of R-CALF USA. “Past programs were based on sound science and were developed in response to the transmission, treatment, and elimination of specific identified diseases. USDA’s new approach is a one-size-fits-all approach that does not specifically aim at the control of livestock diseases.”

The USDA has presented its traceability scheme as an animal health program, but it has also reiterated the importance of the export market to the United States in promoting its new plan. The powerful meatpacking lobby has continued to push for such mandated traceability requirements in order to develop international standards for exports. Critics have suggested this is not in the American public’s best interest, however, since the U.S. is a net importer of beef and cattle and the profits from the export market go to a small handful of massive meatpacking companies.

“Factory farms can easily absorb the added economic burdens, and the meatpacking industry stands to benefit from a marketing standpoint,” asserted Judith McGeary, a livestock farmer and executive director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. “However, the extra expenses and labor will fall disproportionately on family farmers and ranchers, accelerating the loss of independent businesses to corporate industrial-scale producers.”

“Consumers need the USDA to start focusing on the animal health and food safety risks posed by industrialized meat production,” said Patty Lovera of Food & Water Watch. “If USDA devoted as much energy to preventing animal diseases as it has to promoting animal tracking, our food system would be in much better shape.”

Many cattle organizations agree that tracing breeding-age cattle may be appropriate for efficient disease control, but USDA’s proposal goes far beyond that by calling for the identification of every cow that crosses state lines, including feeder cattle that are processed at a young age. Because of the sheer numbers of feeder cattle, this requirement could unduly burden small ranchers and sales barns and further erode competition in the marketplace.

“The large volume of the animals that USDA proposes to track could overwhelm the capabilities of state agencies, making it impossible to retrieve useful data if there is in fact a disease outbreak,” stated Gilles Stockton, a Montana rancher and member of the Western Organization of Resource Councils.

Additionally, the centuries-old tradition of hot-iron branding cattle would be demoted from an official identification device. “The brand is a part of our ranching heritage and a long accepted method of animal identification,” stated Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont, in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

A coalition of farm, ranch and consumer groups urges citizens to contact their Congressional representatives and the USDA with their concern that mandatory animal traceability helps only a few giant corporations, at the expense of American family farmers and consumers.

“If Americans don’t want their food supply to cave like the banking and housing industries, it’s time to take action,” stated Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute.- 30-

MORE

Additional contact information:

Judith McGeary, Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, 512-484-8821

Bill Bullard, R-CALF USA, 406-252-2516

Patty Lovera, Food & Water Watch, 202-683-2465

Gilles Stockton, Western Organization of Resource Councils, 406-366-4463

The Cornucopia Institute PO Box 126 Cornucopia, WI 54827 www.cornucopia.org

ID Scheme

NAIS: Life Support ~~ Dead on Arrival

Dec 29, 2009

No sooner have most people pronounced NAIS dead-on-arrival, than a number of recent events may have breathed life back into the U.S.A.’s National Animal Identification Scheme. A combination of market forces aligned with a simplified tracking technology, and some rare positive news may have reinvigorated USDA’s moribund, voluntary animal traceability initiative.

First the news headlines. Even though the U.S. House of Representatives had voted to cut off funding for the NAIS as part of the Farm Bill, a joint House-Senate conference committee agreed a few weeks ago to continue funding the program to the tune of $5.3 million for fiscal year 2010-2011. This funding is a reduction from the $14.2 million authorized for last year and less than the $14.6 million the Senate approved, but the program will continue. However, a growing number of Congressional members have made it clear they want to see effective leadership from USDA to dispel some of the more egregious NAIS rumors running unchallenged in the countryside (e.g., backyard farmers with only a few chickens for home use or sale to friends will have to tag and track each animal). They also want to expand the number of farms and ranches that have registered with the NAIS premises database from the current anemic 13% to closer to the 90% needed for an effective national system.

The second piece of news for NAIS supporters is that U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer in Washington, D.C., dismissed a civil suit filed by the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund and a group of Michigan cattlemen against the USDA and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) over the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). The group’s suit, filed last September, sought to enjoin the implementation and enforcement of NAIS. The suit was dismissed primarily because Judge Collyer ruled the program was voluntarily adopted by state departments of agriculture and was not federally mandated. Should NAIS become mandatory, sorry — the judge has already ruled.

Even with a bit of good news, the large opposition anti-NAIS forces continue to rally their troops by claiming that NAIS is overly burdensome, and is unnecessary because existing livestock records, such as brands, ear tags, veterinary logs and auction barn records do a good and economical job of tracking cattle movements. Dr. George Teagarden, the Kansas state veterinarian, agrees that the current record-keeping system can be used “to find the animals in question, but it can be months after the fact.” According to Dr. Teagarden, this time lag isn’t nearly fast enough and he cautions, “A highly contagious animal disease will devastate this country.” He underscores this dire prediction by noting that in Kansas in a single month cattle from all 48 of the Continental U.S. states arrive at least once a month. The speed of commerce is too fast to be handled by the paper-based system.” Dr. Teagarden is also aware that history does not record any such “devastating” disease to affect Kansas since Foot & Mouth was eliminated in the late twenties. His pandemic prophecy is not a fear to the majority of livestock producers in Kansas or the nation, however those hovering inside the beltway still listen.

Apparently, a number of national governments agree with Dr. Teagarden, and recently several have made or are poised to move their systems from voluntary to mandatory. Within the last few months these key countries have made major moves towards mandatory traceability; moves that are likely to impact USA policy and USA producers.

It is important to understand the difference in other countries. Australia and Canada produce 60% more beef than their country consumes and absolutely must protect and increase export sales. Totally different, the US in 2008, according to the NASS, exported $2,876,906,000 in wholesale beef, but imported $4,764,392,000. For 21 years the US has not produced enough beef to feed the nation. The difference in the urgency to export US beef is drastic. If the US exports more beef, they, in turn must import that exact amount more to feed the nation. In that respect, the US is depending on imports and has no surplus for export at all. All beef export from the US is simply a trading process that does not profit producers, but only those directly related in the selling and buying.

Brazil. Brazil, also producing much more than is being consumed, has just announced that by 2011 all livestock producers will be required to participate in a mandatory traceability system. The new system will rely on simpler technology than the current, voluntary SISBOV system which is RFID-based, and every segment of the Brazilian supply chain, from cow-calf operator to slaughter facility including transporters will be required to provide a complete chain of custody records. Real-time electronic record-keeping is not being mandated, but standardized record-keeping whose data can be transmitted via Internet portals to centralized databases will be used. The SISBOV system will continue to exist for those who want to use it, but the expectation among Brazilian officials is that most producers will use the standardized, simplified paper-based system. On a world export basis, the countries with the most compliance costs will be the least competitive.

Korea. South Korea has instituted a traceback system on domestically raised beef, and has indicated that it would require traceback on imported product by 2010.

Japan. The Japanese government has had a domestic animal identification system in place for several years, and on three different occasions the then-minority political party, the Democratic Party of Japan, had unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation that would require the same level of traceability for imports. In August the DPJ successfully became the controlling party for the first time in a long period, and newly appointed Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has vowed to once again try to revise the Beef Traceability Law. He doesn’t have control of the Upper House of Parliament, but he may be able to persuade his two coalition partners to go along.

How do these foreign government actions impact the U.S. meat industry? The Brazilian action probably has less direct impact on the US than do the Asian actions, because the Brazilian action was aimed at broadening acceptance of Brazilian beef in the EU. There will be some impact, though, because the largest of the Brazilian meat companies, JBS, is also one of the major U.S. meat producers so there will likely be some technology transfer from Brazilian ranches to their U.S. counterpart.

A major key to Brazilian acceptance of a mandatory livestock traceability system by Brazilian legislators was the simplification of the system of initially registering an animal and then tracking its movements from birth to export. The predecessor voluntary system in Brazil known as SISBOV is an RFID-based identification system with real-time electronic data collection and transmittal. While effective, this system is technologically sophisticated and beyond both the economic means and technological understanding of a large percentage of Brazilian producers. Embracing and actively promoting a simplified registration and tracking system by USDA, we believe, will go a long way towards helping reduce opposition to NAIS.

Even with all of these developments, make no mistake — NAIS is still on life support, and it may still die. But when the marketplace speaks and producers begin to learn the US is and has been a net import country, and no export markets are necessary at all, NAIS becomes even closer to true and lasting death!

Research by William Pape, & Brad Headtel.

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